SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has co-sponsored two parliamentary motions at Westminster this week condemning reports of ‘abductions, torture and killings’ of gay men in Chechnya – and which call on the international community to ensure that the Russian authorities are held accountable for upholding its international human rights obligations.

Mr Durkan said: “I am deeply concerned at reports in the Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, that men believed to be gay have been abducted, tortured and killed in Chechnya.

“I am also alarmed at denials made by Chechen authorities regarding these reports, which claim that gay men do not exist in the republic.

“LGBT groups in Russia also claim that those who have escaped the state-backed crackdown on people of a ‘non-traditional sexual orientation’ were imprisoned in groups of 30 to 40 and tortured with electric currents or beatings, some of them fatal.

“I deplore this act of mass torture and murder, which specifically targets LGBT people.

“I also support Amnesty lnternational's call for action and an immediate investigation into this reported purge of LGBT people in Chechnya.

“I am calling on the international community to ensure that the Russian authorities are held accountable for upholding its international human rights obligations and ensuring that justice is brought upon those reportedly committing these crimes in Chechnya.

“We must all show our solidarity with those who suffer this gross oppression and persecution – and do more to face down those who indulge in prejudice and practice exclusion.”

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