20 Days Remaining

Friday 7th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Felicity Collier in central London

LGBT workers called on the TUC yesterday to support efforts to monitor so-called gay concentration camps in Chechnya.

More than 100 men perceived to be gay or bisexual who have been persecuted by Chechen authorities have sought assistance from Russian LGBT networks after being seized and taken to the camps, delegates to the TUC’s LGBT conference at Congress House heard.

An emergency motion from public-sector union Unison urged the TUC and its affiliates to demand an effective remedy to the situation and support initiatives undertaken by human rights charity Amnesty International.

The ILGA think tanks has also raised funds to assist the victims of detention and torture, helping them to escape to other European countries.

Unison’s Bev Miller said her union had affiliated to the ILGA and was supporting its efforts. She told conference: “Human rights are being totally violated.

“Those who escape are tortured with electric currents, and sometimes beaten to death. Asylum-seekers face more rejection when fleeing persecution.”

Unite member Damien Derby said: “Victims are being punished for no other reason than being part of the LGBT community, or merely being suspected to be.”

UCU’s Steve Boyce called the motion “life-saving.”

Half a million people have signed an Amnesty petition against the outrage.

It calls on Aleksandr Ivanovich Bastrykin, chair of the Russian government body responsible for investigating regional authorities’ actions, to end the killings, which Amnesty has branded “honour-based.”

Both Chechnya and Moscow deny any knowledge of the camps.