The Council of Europe has approved a report on arrests targeting the LGTB community in Chechnya with a view to increasing political pressure on Russia to open an investigation into the matter. Should Russia refuse, the Council’s Committee of Ministers will itself launch the investigation.
The report does not mark the end of the matter, but is just a stage for ensuring that these acts no longer go unpunished, said the Council’s rapporteur, Piet de Bruyn of Belgium’s New Flemish Alliance (N-VA).
The treatment meted out to the LGBT community in Chechnya has been widely criticized for over a year. Independent witnesses speak of kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, inhuman treatment and death threats, said De Bruyn, whose report was unanimously approved.
The report shows that despite the pressure already exerted on Russia, Moscow has done little to protect human rights in Chechnya, the rapporteur said. No impartial investigation was opened even after a victim lodged an official complaint, he added.
De Bruyn said the Council’s report also asked the 47member States to grant asylum to Chechens who have been victims of the arrests.