Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Chechnya’s Crackdown on Gays; New York Times, April 24, 2017

Editorial Board, New York Times; 

Chechnya’s Crackdown on Gays

[Kip Currier: I was recently thumbing through a file folder of comic strips and Op-Eds I've bookmarked over the years and came across this one by the brilliant political cartoonist Rob Rogers, featured frequently in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The cartoon is from 2007 but is eerily timely, and reminiscent of recent statements by Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his administration, denying the very existence of gays, while euphemistically threatening "such people" with death. Frank Bruni's Food, Sex and Silence trenchantly points out "how often oppression is an act of omission rather than commission". Chilling first-hand reports from Chechen gay men and human rights groups show how oppression is also waged through both strategies.] 

[The Guardian, April 21, 2017] "Previously, Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov denied the reports of the purge, saying there were no gay people in Chechnya. “If there were such people in Chechnya, law enforcement agencies wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning,” he said."

[The New York Times Editorial Board, April 24, 2017] 
"The crimes in Chechnya have presented the Trump administration with its first major test on this issue on the international stage. Last Monday, Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, issued a strong statement calling for a prompt investigation and accountability for the culprits.

“We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation,” Ms. Haley said. “When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict.”

It would be encouraging to see Ms. Haley take on this cause with as much passion and perseverance as her predecessor, Samantha Power. Without American leadership, forging a global consensus that gay rights are human rights will take longer. Time is not on the side of gay people living in terror in places like Chechnya."

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