President Donald Trump is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Helsinki, Finland.
The meeting comes during the investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, which Trump continues to call a “witchhunt.”
The Trump-Putin summit is getting plenty of attention, and has provided two different HRCs to troll the president.
The Human Rights Campaign wants to remind the public that nothing has been done about the anti-LGBTQ purge in Chechnya, a federal subject of Russia. Over 100 LGBTQ Chechens have been hunted down, detained, beaten, forced to give up the names and contacts of other queer people, and in some cases allegedly murdered.
The HRC is projecting an image onto the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, demanding the two leaders put a stop to the purge.
Phrases like, “Silence is Deadly,” “The Whole Word is Watching,” and “Investigate LGBTQ Persecution In Chechnya” are flashing across the building in giant, capital letters.
“Trump has unconscionably turned a blind eye to some of the worst anti-LGBTQ atrocities in a generation, including monstrous attacks on gay and bisexual men in Chechnya,” Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global, told protesters on Sunday. “HRC is here in Helsinki to demand Donald Trump end his deafening silence, publicly condemn these Chechen crimes against humanity, and call on Putin to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“We are grateful to all people and organizations who support our work in Chechnya. International attention is essential to putting pressure on Russian authorities to take action,” said Igor Kochetkov, chair of the Russian LGBT Network, a network of organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights and working to obtain asylum for victims, or would-be victims, of the purge.
“’Russian authorities’ deny even the mere existence of LGBT people in Chechnya, but with continued international pressure, we aim to stop the persecution, torture and killing of LGBT people in Chechnya, and ensure that those responsible for these crimes against humanity are brought to justice.”
The news of the purge was first published by Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta just over a year ago.
A survivor’s father, apparently with the aide of a Russian official, attempted to kidnap him over the weekend. Thankfully police were able to stop the attempted kidnapping, and prevent what could have been another so-called “honor killing.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton also took a shot at Trump, whom she faced off with during the presidential campaign.
Clinton tweeted out her enjoyment of the World Cup, which was hosted by Russia this year, and asked Trump if he knew what team he was playing for, ahead of his meeting with Putin.
Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 16, 2018
Video of Trump and Putin’s joint press conference follows.