Press Releases

Press Releases

Reps. Issa, Royce, Ros-Lehtinen, Engel, Cicilline, and Smith Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Killing and Torture of Gay Men In Chechnya

Press Release
May 23, 2017

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released the following statement after introducing a bipartisan resolution condemning the violence and persecution of gay men in Chechnya with fellow colleagues Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), and Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Chris Smith (R-NJ).

Since April, reports have surfaced that Chechnya has been arresting and murdering hundreds of gay men solely on the basis of their suspected sexual orientation. Reports also surfaced earlier this week that "Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov plans to 'eliminate' the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan," according to a British foreign minister.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

Congressman Darrell Issa: "These heinous violations of basic human rights cannot be tolerated against anyone, regardless of their political viewpoints, religious beliefs or their sexual orientation. The reports coming out of this crisis have been utterly disturbing. The United States must use our leadership on the world stage to call out these atrocities, urge that those responsible for perpetrating this violence are held to account, and ultimately bring these acts to an end. The Resolution we've introduced today makes clear to Putin, Kadyrov and Chechen authorities that these injustices will not be tolerated."

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen: “For over a month, hundreds of gay or perceived to be gay Chechens have been arrested, many have been tortured, and some even killed. This bipartisan resolution sends a clear message to Chechnya and Russia authorities and any oppressor that the U.S. will not stand idly while these human rights atrocities are being committed. The U.S. government needs to continue to speak up to help those who are being indiscriminately targeted, and we must pressure Russia to uphold its international commitment to prevent any further abuses from happening while perpetrators are brought to justice.”   

Congressman Engel: “We’ve heard chilling reports of authorities in Chechnya detaining, torturing, and even killing men from the LGBT community over the last several weeks. We are witnessing the unfolding of a horrific tragedy and it’s long past time that the Kremlin start protecting its own citizens—all of them—regardless of sexual orientation. That’s why I introduced this bipartisan resolution with my colleagues—to send a clear signal that Republicans and Democrats alike call on President Putin to respect and promote the dignity of all persons and provide safe haven for all those fleeing such horrific persecution.”

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