Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth issued the following statement today (5 July) on current developments in Chechnya where, since the end of Ramadan, there have once again been increased attacks on homosexuals:
We are receiving reports that the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya has begun once more. If these reports are true, it would be a shock for us all. Unfortunately, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is still on the agenda much too often - also in Europe. But here the suffering has a completely different dimension. It is not acceptable that people have to fear for their lives because of their homosexuality. We expect the Russian Government to ensure the persecuted are protected and the perpetrators finally brought to justice.
I am particularly pleased that now in three cases we were able to bring those affected to Germany. Others are in touch with our Embassy in Moscow. We will continue to do our utmost to help the persecuted. The fact that we in Europe live in colourful, liberal and open societies must become more than mere lip service. We need to follow up with concrete steps which visibly reaffirm our conviction.
That is why the Federal Foreign Office’s commitment in taking in persecuted homosexuals from Chechnya is so important. It is the logical consequence of us working all over the world to promote fundamental values such as freedom, equality and human dignity. In this context, I am grateful for the close cooperation with other countries.