Hundreds In Amsterdam Protest Chechnya “Gay Purge,” Call On Dutch Government To Act

"Let us never close our eyes to torture, no matter where in the world it happens."

Over 500 members of Amsterdam’s LGBT community gathered Wednesday to protest the horrific treatment of gay men in Chechnya and to call on the Dutch government to take action against it.

The demonstrators met at the Homomonument in the center of the city, where they held rainbow pride flags and signs denouncing Chechnya’s anti-LGBT purge.

Alderman Eric Van der Burg spoke, imploring government officials to speak out against the gay concentration camps and to change the country’s asylum policy to let in Chechen LGBT refugees.

“Let us never close our eyes to torture, no matter where in the world it happens,” Van der Burg said, according to the NL Times. “Let’s continue to fight for equality for all.”

Reports out of Chechnya indicate there has been a purge of homosexuals in the region in recent weeks. More than 100 men suspected of being gay have been detained by police in the predominantly Muslim region of Russia, according to Novaya Gazeta, and at least three have been killed.

Though Chechen authorities continue to deny the claims, human rights organizations across the globe are calling on governments to stand up against the atrocities.

Just this week, 50 members of the United States Congress signed a letter condemning the anti-LGBT torture and two men who managed to escape from the camps spoke about their experiences on CNN.

Amsterdam is not the first European city to host a demonstration against the torture of gay men in Chechnya. Earlier this month, similar protests occurred in Milan and London, where demonstrators gathered outside the Russian embassy to urge Parliament to act.

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