WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement today after news reports surfaced that more than 100 gay men have been abducted, detained, and tortured in Chechnya and at least three gay men have been murdered. U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and the State Department have both called for a thorough investigation into these human rights violations by Chechen authorities.
“President Trump must demand an end to the targeting of gay men in Chechnya. The safety and livelihood of these men is in their hands. This emergency situation is escalating with five LGBT activists arrested this week after publicly protesting in Chechnya. The Russian government is falsely reporting they found no evidence of misconduct. However, credible organizations, like Human Rights Watch, indicate that Chechen leaders are seeking to eradicate all LGBT individuals before the start of Ramadan. President Putin and his administration’s attempt to hide the truth makes them complicit in human rights violations against a vulnerable population. The Trump Administration must pressure President Putin to end this violence and provide refuge to these LGBT individuals fleeing persecution. Our democracy is rooted in ensuring human rights are protected. We cannot turn a blind eye to this oppression.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.