Concentration camps for gay men in Chechnya

Finnice

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8,677
Disgusting. Just disgusting. Another reason for me to march in Helsinki Pride July the 1st. It happens at our neighbour country.:(:scream:
 

gkelly

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just as the moral relativity argument doesn't work. If X is a violation of human rights in A, why on earth would it not be a violation of human rights in B?
But who gets to define what constitutes "human rights"?

Thomas Jefferson may have thought it was self-evident, but if it's that obvious, why did it take until the 18th century for anyone to put it in writing? And longer to expand the definition of just who they applied to and to actually apply that policy to everyone (which is still not the case even in the US)?

It seems that historically people and peoples have acted in their own self-interest and according to values developed in their own communities, only gradually over centuries and millennia have thought leaders conceptualized a bigger picture and have those more inclusive concepts disseminated and become acceptable in different communities.

And then you get value systems like religions that were progressive when first promulgated being used to maintain traditions that more recent progressive thought has moved beyond.
 

snoopy

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Oh here we go. If no one gets to define human rights, then there are no such thing as human rights. Moral relativity is a zero sum game.
 

gkelly

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I'm not saying we shouldn't define them or shouldn't work to expand them across the world.

I'm just pointing out that they are socially constructed.
 

Japanfan

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So you think human rights are culturally-dependent? Wow.
Very few people these days argue for moral relativity but liberals used to rely on this argument a lot. For example, yes, I have absolutely heard liberals say we shouldn’t judge Iran for stoning adulterers to death because……… culture. Or FGM, another topic where we were instructed not to be “judgey” in the not so distant past.
IMO FGM is an example in which human rights are seen as culturally dependent. Still today.

People can voice their opposition to worker abuses in various countries, or child labor, or political oppression and the poverty/suffering it causes. Or even stoning women for adultery. To the contrary, in my experience FGM is a topic which flies below the radar, and is seen as socially inappropriate to bring up, or at least uncomfortable. People generally don't want to talk about it or think about it. Unless you are in a professional or political setting where it is acceptable.

I don't think the silence or discomfort are because people approve of FGM. Rather, I think that people may view it as entrenched/legitimized within culture/religion, and don't feel comfortable or right about condemning it or taking action against it. Yet, it is one of the most horrible things done to girls in the world, and causes immense suffering, illness, and even death.

But I think there is an even bigger picture than that: FGM is such a strikingly clear example of women's oppression that it brings to mind and correlates with other situations/events of oppression, many which are relatively more banal. Women's oppression continues to exist everywhere in the world to one extent or the other, and people don't want to think about it because it is such a huge phenomenon. You start getting angry about it, the anger just builds and it's hard to stop it. Feminist issues are always positioned outside the mainstream, excepting those issues seen as acceptable at certain points in time (i.e. voting rights, childcare, equal pay for equal work). A lot women don't want to be fighting authority and society and husbands/sons all the time, especially those in positions of privilege, and care more about getting along well with men in society (or playing on the winning team). And the practice of FGM is really a call to battle.

Mr. Japanfan has gotten angry at me when I've brought it up in discussions, and pretty much said it isn't fair, because there is no defense against it. It's just a very radical and provocative card to play, even in societies where human rights and social justice issues are considered important.
 

Tinami Amori

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19,323
First, what can people do to help:
http://www.out.com/news-opinion/201...n-help-stop-chechnyas-gay-concentration-camps

send message to: https://usun.state.gov/contact
what can be done: http://metro.co.uk/2017/04/13/heres-how-to-help-tortured-gay-men-in-chechnya-camps-6572033/

Pls sign this petition:
To UN: https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-investigate-chechnya-s-gay-concentration-camps-immediately
To Russian PG: https://www.change.org/p/russia-pro...murder-and-torture-of-lgbt-people-in-chechnya

“Donate now”: is on top to the right
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur46/6023/2017/en/

Every signature counts. The petition to the Russian Attorney Prosecutor General should be signed too, but very little can be expected in terms of definitive action.

There is a lot of information on the e-net on Russia and Chechnya history and political events, so just in a nutshell:

- Russia, while its’ official position states to be “in full control of Chechnya as part of Russian Territories” and “in support of Chechnya’s current government”, de facto, has very little control. Rather than “support Kadyrov” Russia “tolerates” him, in exchange for keeping the region under control (in their perception). Russia can’t afford to enter another battle, especially inside its territory.

- Kadyrov was granted almost absolute autonomy, in exchange for stopping separatist movement and maintaining region’s so called “stability”. Russian Constitution de facto does not apply to Chechnya region. In 2003 a constitution referendum was held in Chechnya, which produced Chechnya’s own Constitution, in appearance tied to the Russian Constitution, but in reality it was not.

- In 2006 Kadyrov declared Chechnya to be officially an Islamic State, and that the Republic will be predominantly governed by Sharia Law (which comes with full set of social restrictions and enforcements).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ycoJDP3z_U

https://www.wsj.com/articles/chechnya-russias-islamic-state-1464859621

- Russian governments are playing down Kadyrov’s influence and Islamisation of the Republic, partially for self-image, and partially to not rock the boat. On the grape-whine there are rumors that once Russia solves its more critical issues, “they will get to Chechnya”, but for now they can not afford to have another internal revolution.

- Russia created a monster which they probably can not control without major invasion into the region. Serves them right for seeking easy solutions.

- Kadyrov knows his position, and will pretty much ignore at this point any requests from Russian or International Human Rights organizations. Also, he is known to say, unofficially "when we rise, the whole Russia will be under Sharia Law".

RT Station put out a documentary on socio-political changes in Chechnya. Agree or not with the narrative, praising or not, it has information.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxA9i7zFGKA

Here is another video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cct5WuaKrtQ

This is one rare occasion when quick and best solution is to hope Kadyrov has a heart attack or something.
 

Tinami Amori

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19,323
http://lgbtweekly.com/2017/04/09/russian-lgbt-network-evacuating-at-risk-people-from-chechnya/
If possible, please donate to an evacuation effort of LGBT members. It is a valid link.
https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya/
It is impossible now to fight the government. It can be done later, when all is thought out and has resources to do something major.
One has to pick one's battles, you can't win a battle and lose a war.

Kadyrov may soon be "in question". He started a fight with a Russian Oil Industry "giant" - Rosneft... He will be taken out at some point, and then "people can return" but now they have to leave. It's not going to easy to kill him, and these guys have to go some place.
http://www.rferl.org/a/russia-novaya-gazeta-kadyrov-assassination-attempt/28028853.html
 

JanetB

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One thing people who are heterosexuals and of European descent have to think about actively is the level of privilege (non-discrimination) we have. For instance when the drive for gay/lesbian marriage started I did not understand why it was so important to the LGBT community until it was explained to me.
 

Japanfan

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One thing people who are heterosexuals and of European descent have to think about actively is the level of privilege (non-discrimination) we have.
Freedom from discrimination should not be a privilege, but a human right. And is seen as such in most of the developed western world, although it's a ideal that is far from fully realized in even the most tolerant societies.
 

Mad for Skating

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2,876
I try to stay out of politics, but I have a few thoughts on this.

My parents are conservative, and same-sex relatinships were viewed as a little peculiar in our house. However, as I got older I learned of many good gay people in the world (ahem Eric Radford) and I grew more open to the idea. While I am a female and attracted to males, I don't think gay people are any less important than I am. Being gay is kind of like being attracted to blondes instead of brunettes, I guess.

But no matter where you stand on gay rights, this Chechen stuff is just criminal. This should not be happening in the 21st century. Then again, in a country where Eteri Tutberidze is allowed to coach, the laws of ethics don't seem to apply.
 

JanetB

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Freedom from discrimination should not be a privilege, but a human right. And is seen as such in most of the developed western world, although it's a ideal that is far from fully realized in even the most tolerant societies.
I agree but white privilege is a real thing and something to be aware of.
 

Tinami Amori

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19,323
I agree but white privilege is a real thing and something to be aware of.
For LGBT community, i am sure, it matters not if one is white or not white in regards to their rights and safety.

Don't start "evil white people" in the LGBT topic.... Quit being "bitter"..... learn what "whites" are doing well, and go and outshine them at their own..... and quit complaining. Not being "WASP" and not succeeding is a sorry excuse nowdays.
 

VGThuy

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32,714
For LGBT community, i am sure, it matters not if one is white or not white in regards to their rights and safety.

Don't start "evil white people" in the LGBT topic.... Quit being "bitter"..... learn what "whites" are doing well, and go and outshine them at their own..... and quit complaining. Not being "WASP" and not succeeding is a sorry excuse nowdays.
Talking about how race, gender, and gender identity plays into supporting institutions of oppression is actually a very common topic among many LGBTQ activist organizations. For many, race does matter when talking about systemic issues they face. Talk to some trans people of color. That is not to say that risks to their health and safety or threats to their rights cannot come from all races and even from other members of their community nor does pointing out how white privilege, hetero privilege, and cis-privilege in the U.S. means that non-white, non-hetero, and non cis-individuals are not capable of threatening other members' of the LGBTQ rights and safety, but part of the fight is fighting it on a broad-based level as well as an individual level.

I'm not saying you have to agree, but many in the LGBTQ community and their activist organizations do talk about these things. For example, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hosts the Creating Change conference every year where many of these issues are discussed.

With that said, what is happening in Chechnya isn't really about the above (oftentimes very U.S. centric issues) but a basic wrong and severe acts of violence and murder being committed against the LGBTQ population there, notably gay men from what's been reported. However, I do think JanetB's point is that being able to see the world in other people's eyes (with everything that affects how they are treated and how they see and experienced life that may be very different from yours based on those same or similar factors) opened up her eyes, and I think that's a very valiant thing to talk about.
 
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Tinami Amori

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I'm not saying you have to agree, but many in the LGBTQ community and their activist organizations do talk about these things. For example, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hosts the Creating Change conference every year where many of these issues are discussed.
They may talk about these things, and other things, and animal rights, and environment, and politics in general. And yes, there are topic drifts.... which happen naturally and the conversations go off far from original subject..

But JanetB is trying to "push her evil white man" agenda intentionally, using LGBTQ issues. We're one step away from hearing that "Israel is at fault for all LGBTQ problems".. :lol:
 

VGThuy

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32,714
They may talk about these things, and other things, and animal rights, and environment, and politics in general. And yes, there are topic drifts.... which happen naturally and the conversations go off far from original subject..

But JanetB is trying to "push her evil white man" agenda intentionally, using LGBTQ issues. We're one step away from hearing that "Israel is at fault for all LGBTQ problems".. :lol:
Btw, I think it's awesome you provided so many links so that we can all help.
 

Tinami Amori

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Btw, I think it's awesome you provided so many links so that we can all help.
I did not participate in organizing any of this. I am only passing on the info on how to help.
The only solution right that can help people NOW is to get them out. Regime change or human rights laws is not going to happen quickly.

I have a question: Why is it "LGBTQ" and not "GLBTQ"? ladies first?
 

VGThuy

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I have a question: Why is it "LGBTQ" and not "GLBTQ"? ladies first?
As allezfred alluded to, I believe the acronym was originated by lesbian activists working in feminist circles and got first dibs.

LGBTQ activism in the United States has a pretty complicated history that overlaps with many other activist movements, which makes sense as there are shared histories, shared fights, shared philosophies/politics, and members/leaders who themselves are part of different movements or are allied with other movements (though one can say it's all a part of one big movement). You can imagine all the different interests and in-fighting that has occurred since Stonewall or before.

Speaking of, here's a great write-up of Coretta Scott King's LGBT activism:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-g-long/coretta-scott-king_b_2592049.html

I remember reading a quote where she explained why fighting for LGBTQ rights was important to her because not only did she see the plight of LGBTQ individuals as being part of the Civil Rights Movement, but she noted the work LGBTQ individuals did for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
 

Tinami Amori

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You can imagine all the different interests and in-fighting that has occurred since Stonewall or before.
:D i remember in SF in the 70's/80's "boys" arguing which is the true gay neighborhood, the Castro or the Polk St...... Castro won.. :D. Then a long debate in the Castro community should "non-gays" be allowed into "Midnight Sun" club... :lol: and which bath-house is more of a whore house and which is to meet someone nice.. :lol: Gays close to my age did not talk "politics", more like "is Boy George too much", "Is Bowie bi or PR monger" and "where to get a 1-g of snow for less than 120 bucks"... :D
 

jersey1302

Active Member
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236
It's really insane to think that stuff like this still goes on in the world. We do have to remember we live in a western civilization and have a bit more freedom..or a lot more freedom in North America and many parts of Europe than places like Russia, South America and parts of the Middle East. They live very different lives and have very different world views. Its our job to educate people that are not educated about this sort of thing, especially people that live among us in the western civilizations. There are plenty of homophobes and racists, especially in the USA. If we don't share the same views as them it's like we came from the devil and should be shunned or something. Mind boggling. I really pray for those people going through such a tough time just because they want to stay true to them self. Its very heart breaking.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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36,518
I just got another email from All Out about this. They are still in need of donations. Here is the letter (it's not on the web to link to)
The crisis in Chechnya has taken over international headlines. Some of the most powerful people in the world are talking about it. But still, the situation here is getting worse.

My group – the Russian LGBT Network – has evacuated 25 men to safety and provided them with lifesaving resources. The donations we've received from thousands of All Out members directly fueled this work.

But another 30 men are still waiting to leave, and we're getting requests from about 5 new people a day, asking for help escaping.

There's a second wave of violence happening in Chechnya and people are terrified. Men suspected of being gay are being hunted down and arrested again.
donation link
 

Tinami Amori

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Some of the men who survived and were released, were killing by family members in "honor killing" which are openly encouraged.
http://www.dw.com/en/gay-men-flee-persecution-and-honor-killings-in-chechnya/a-38457383

"Vinnichenko says that the police often out the men to their families after releasing them from custody. "Essentially they call for the relatives to kill them with their own hands," she adds. "The men who've come to us say they believe that their relatives would kill them in order to clear the family's reputation."
 

Tinami Amori

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His enforcement of Shari Laws has long been a problem and a concern to the Russians.... but so far they find him more useful than harmful. I suspect it may soon get even more out of hand..... Give a finger, lose a hand.

"Kadyrov, a devout Sufi Muslim, has said publicly he believes sharia law trumps Russian"
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE67O0S0

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ov-threatens-whole-of-russia-opposition-warns

 

Miezekatze

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15,109
Sick!

I donated something, thanks everybody for providing the links, I wonder if one could give more visible to that organization. I follow the guy who runs Allout on Twitter now, so I hope I can at least spread the visibility occasionally.
 

cocotaffy

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