April 19th, 2017

Liberals must offer protections for Chechen refugees

OTTAWA — Following reports of hundreds of gay men being imprisoned, tortured and murdered in Chechnya, New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to call for an international investigation into this horrific treatment and also offer refugee protection for the men who manage to escape from the region.

“After pressing the Liberals to join international counterparts in condemning the campaign of mass arrests and detention of gay men in Chechnya and to call for an international inquiry into the same persecution, the Liberals finally responded by asking the Russians to investigate,” said NDP LGBTQ critic, Randall Garrison. “That simply is not good enough. The government must call for an independent international inquiry. Canadians expect the Liberals to stand up against LGBTQ persecution.”

Two weeks ago, Russian news sources reported on the imprisonment of more than one hundred gay men in concentration camp style prisons in Chechnya. Faced with torture, humiliation, and abuse, it was confirmed that at least three of these men died. The NDP has stood in Parliament to call on the Liberals to condemn this appalling persecution.

“The Liberals must not only condemn the Chechen government's action, they should also extend Canadian protections to the men escaping these human rights violations,” added NDP Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship critic, Jenny Kwan. "It’s clear that the Canadian government should offer full refugee status for those who manage to escape this horrendous situation."