Tatchell arrested for LGBT Chechens

Published on: Thu, 21/06/2018 - 12:03

Elizabeth Butterworth

While he isn’t perfect and I don’t idolise him, Peter Tatchell is one of my heroes. He has consistently put his own safety on the line for the sake of human rights, especially LGBT+ rights.

In 2007 he suffered brain damage and lost sight in one of his eyes after being beaten by Russian Nazis. In 1973, he attended the World Youth Festival in East Berlin and after taking the stage to speak about gay rights in East Germany, he was interrogated by the Stasi, and threatened and assaulted by delegates from the Communist Parties.
Last week Tatchell was briefly detained in Moscow after holding a one

International pressure fails to halt Chechen tortures

Published on: Wed, 03/05/2017 - 06:29

Mike Zubrowski

Despite international pressure, the detention and torture of suspected gay men by the Chechen government since late March has continued, and more secret concentration-camp style prisons have been discovered.

A journalist who helped expose the brutal persecution has gone into hiding after threats from Chechen state officials and Chechen Muslim clerics. Putin and the Kremlin in Russia has been cynically turning a blind eye, and the Russian police have detained LGBT activists campaigning against this on May Day in St. Petersburg. But after international pressure the Kremlin reluctantly opened

Chechnya: stop anti-gay state killings

Published on: Wed, 12/04/2017 - 10:22

Mike Zubrowski

Over 100 men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and detained by the Chechen authorities, with many tortured and some killed.

Chechnya has an authoritarian and extremely repressive state presiding over a deeply homophobic society, but this development is shocking even in this context. Some of the suspected gay men were killed in violent raids, whilst others have been kept in secret “concentration-camp style” prisons, where many have been subjected to electric shocks and violent abuse, with some beaten to death.

Very few people are openly gay in Chechnya, and much of the torture aims

Anti-Islamophobia, genuine and cynical: a reply to Aaron Kiely on Kurdistan (and Bosnia and Kosova and Afghanistan and Chechnya)

Published on: Sat, 18/10/2014 - 22:14

Sacha Ismail

During the recent row in the student movement about Kurdistan, five members of NUS national executive who are active in NUS’s Black Students’ Campaign issued a statement.

This article is not a response to that statement as such. What pushed me to write this was who one of the five signatories was: Aaron Kiely, a member of the "Student Broad Left" group, a front for Socialist Action.

In the context of the rise of ISIS, the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, and Western intervention, the statement talks about “blatant Islamophobia” and “the demonisation of Muslim peoples”. To put it bluntly, this is

TUC silence on Russian aggression is nothing new

Published on: Tue, 23/09/2014 - 17:49

Eric Lee

In an otherwise excellent piece on the TUC’s passing of an idiotic resolution on Ukraine, Dale Street writes that “for the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

That doesn’t sound right — and it isn’t.

In fact there have been several occasions since 1945 when European countries have been the victims of aggression by neighbouring big powers.

There was the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 40 years resulting in a division of the country and an occupation of its northern part that continues until the present day.


Moscow bombings: against terrorism

Published on: Thu, 01/04/2010 - 17:48

Dan Katz

According to press reports, on Wednesday 29 March two women suicide bombers exploded their bombs on the Moscow underground. The blasts, timed to coincide with the morning rush hour, killed at least 38 people and injured many more, several seriously.

According to local analysts the likely culprits are Islamist rebels from the North Caucasus. The most probable of these are those based in Chechnya using so-called Black Widows as bombers (women who have had husbands or brothers killed by Russian or Russian-backed forces in the region).

Without qualification these acts should be condemned. Both the

Chechnya: the war continues

Published on: Sat, 10/12/2005 - 12:21

By Dale Street

Parliamentary elections were held in Chechnya on 27 November. 356 candidates representing seven different parties competed for election to 40 seats in the Popular Assembly (the lower house) and 18 seats in the Republic Council (upper house).

Clear winners in the elections, with 60% of the vote, were the pro-Putin United Russian Party. The Communist Party came second with 13% of the votes, and the Union of Right Forces came third with nearly 12% of the votes.

The elections, said Russian President Vladimir Putin, had “restored constitutional order” to the republic. The European

Putin’s victims

Published on: Tue, 22/03/2005 - 00:58

By Dale Street

Aslan Maskhadov, a long-standing Chechen separatist leader and one-time president of Chechnya, was killed by Russian forces on 8 March in the south-Chechen settlement of Tolstoy-Yurt.

Maskhadov was born in Kazakhstan in 1951. His family had been victims of the mass deportation of the Chechen people carried out by Stalin at the close of the Second World War. Maskhadov’s family survived and was allowed to return to Chechnya in 1957.

Maskhadov became a career soldier in the Soviet army, serving in Hungary, Lithuania, and, according to some of his biographies, Afghanistan. After

Pathology in the name of liberation

Published on: Wed, 22/09/2004 - 00:00

By Chris Reynolds

At least 338 people have died since gunmen claiming to champion Chechen national rights seized a school in North Ossetia (a territory neighbouring Chechnya) on 1 September and took pupils, teachers and some parents hostage.

Nearly 400 people are still missing according to teachers at the school. Many of the dead and missing are children.

Local people think that the government is downplaying the number killed and injured.
Nothing the hostage-takers might say about Chechen rights can blur the horror of what they did. Discussing the need for harsh measures in revolutionary and

Putin uses Beslan to increase his power

Published on: Wed, 22/09/2004 - 00:00

By Dale Street

The series of “reforms” announced by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the Beslan school massacre have nothing to do with fighting terrorism. They are another stage in the evolution of Putin’s authoritarian and semi-dictatorial regime.

The Washington Post summed up the ‘reforms’ as: “An unambiguous step towards tyranny in Russia. There is no complexity or fuzziness about the significance of Putin’s actions.

Putin is imposing dictatorship the old-fashioned way. …Russia needs to fight terrorism.

But eliminating elections and quashing Putin’s political

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