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.
Multiculturele LHBT-organisatie Secret Garden organiseert de bloemen- en kaarsenlegging op het homomonument pic.twitter.com/mPmKU9iZlV
— Wouter S. van Dijke (@WoutervD) April 19, 2017
COC-voorzitter Tanja Ineke op het Homomonument: ‘Dit is een schande voor Tsjetsjenië, voor Rusland, voor de mensheid.’ pic.twitter.com/WHw0dmoXjt
— Karen Hammink (@KarenHammink) April 19, 2017
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.”
— Gemeente Amsterdam (@AmsterdamNL) April 19, 2017
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.
— Robin van der Haak (@robinvanderhaak) April 19, 2017
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.