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HRC Asks Trump to Address Chechnya with Putin

Wednesday Jul 5, 2017

Will President Donald Trump ask Russian President Vladimir Putin to address the situation in Chechnya? HRC hopes so.

While the agenda items for Trump's first face-to-face meeting with Putin remains announced, LGBT civil rights group The Human Rights Campaign is imploring The White House to address to have the president address the reported atrocities committed against gay and bisexual men with his Russian counterpart.

"The situation in the Russian republic of Chechnya continues to be extraordinarily dangerous for LGBTQ people," read a letter sent to the White House by HRC President Chad Griffin on Wednesday. "Since news first broke in April, we know that more than 100 gay and bisexual men have been arrested and detained without charge. While some have been set free, reports indicate that many remain in detention, where they have been beaten and tortured; at least three have been killed."

It is imperative that you forcefully raise this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when you meet him in Germany at the G-20 summit this week," Griffin wrote. "I urge you to stand with the victims by calling on President Putin to take immediate action to bring the violence to an end and the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes to justice."

Griffin went on to take the President and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to task for not officially addressing the situation in Chechnya.

"We yet again renew the urgent call for you and Secretary Tillerson to forcefully condemn the atrocities in Chechnya. While Ambassador Haley and the State Department have issued statements, and the House of Representatives has unanimously condemned the atrocities, it is deeply disappointing and troubling that there has not yet been any statement from the White House."

"The U.S. must not step back from its essential role as a human rights leader and as a champion of the world's most vulnerable. Failure to speak out against these atrocities signals to dictators and human rights violators that the U.S. will turn a blind eye to their crimes. We can, and must, serve as a beacon of hope," Griffin concluded.

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