The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, is calling on President Donald
Trump to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about attacks on gay
men in Chechnya.
Trump is scheduled to meet with Putin
on Friday at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
HRC President Chad Griffin called on
Trump to “forcefully raise” the issue during the meeting.
“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 wrote.
In April, Novaya Gaceta reported
that authorities in Chechnya, a semi-autonomous Muslim-majority
republic of Russia, have rounded up dozens of suspected gay men and
killed three. The paper has since reported that the men are being
held at six secret prisons without due process and that the campaign
has resulted in the deaths of 26 men since the start of the year.
“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,” Griffin continued. “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.”
Tillerson has not raised the issue of attacks on gay men in Chechnya