Not A single LGBT Chechen has received asylum in the United States amidst deadly anti-gay purge.
BY VICTOR MELAMED
A violent crackdown on LGBT people in the Russian region of Chechnya has resulted in the arrest and torture of dozens of people so far—as well as at least two deaths.
Advocates, attorneys, and activists say that the Trump administration’s assault on the asylum system—exacerbated by the recent federal government shutdown—is complicating efforts to save others from a similar fate, reports The Daily Beast.
“If you are from Chechnya, the horrible things that are happening in that area of Russia warrant a pretty strong asylum claim,” said Aaron Morris, executive director of Immigration Equality, a nonprofit that advocates for LGBT people in the immigration system where one in four clients is from Central Asia. “But they’re changing how hard it is to get your day in court.”
In the two years since the anti-gay purges began there, not a single LGBT Chechen has received asylum in the United States.
Last month, the Department of State released a statement in response to reports of increasing violence against LGBT Chechens, calling on the Kremlin “to live up to its international obligations and commitments and its own constitution, and launch an immediate investigation into these human rights abuses.”
Asked to specify what pressure the United States has placed on the Kremlin to investigate the purges, a State Department spokesperson did not return requests for comment.