Brighton & Hove Council leader condems Chechen Government

Cllr Warren Morgan, the Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council condemned the Chechen Government and its leader Ramzan Khadyrov at the IDAHOBIT event at the Dorset Gardens Methodist Church yesterday, (May 17)

Cllr Morgan, said: I am here today on this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia to send a message to Ramzan Khadyrov. It’s a name unknown to most, but he is the person leading the Chechen state and conducting a systematic and brutal campaign of repression and imprisonment against the LGBT+ communities in that country.

This cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed, unremarked, and unchallenged.

When originally confronted with the allegations, Mr Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov said it was not possible that gays had suffered abuse because homosexuals “don’t exist” in Chechnya.

“You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic”. “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

They do exist, Mr Karimov, they exist everywhere. You cannot deny the existence of your own people. And you cannot deny them their basic human rights.

In response to this barely disguised brutality, Human Rights Watch issued a call to action for the international community. We must answer that call, we must put pressure on our own Government to answer that call.

If anything could be worse than the state-sponsored homophobia of the Russian Federation, it is the active repression and imprisonment of the Chechen part of that nation state.

Let me put on the record here today, as Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, that we condemn without reservation the actions of the Chechen Government. Our voice alone will make no difference to a ruthless dictator who does not think twice about having his enemies killed.

But our voice together with other cities, other countries, other organisations will become a chorus he and his cronies in Grozny cannot ignore. Together we must say, this must not pass, this action cannot stand.

We in Brighton and Hove stand shoulder to shoulder with the Chechen LGBT+ communities today, tomorrow and every day until this brutal oppression ends.”

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