Jussie Smollett, Tituss Burgess and
Carson Kressley are among the out celebrities who appear in a video
to raise awareness of the persecution of gay men in Chechnya.
Reports of a gay purge in the Russian
republic began to surface in April. The campaign has reportedly
resulted in the deaths of 26 men suspected of being gay since the
start of this year.
While Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov
has denied the reports, he's also said that gay men should be taken
to Canada to “purify our blood.”
Ramzan Kadyrov: We don't have any gays.)
“These guys need our help and they're
our brothers,” says Kressley in the 41-second advocacy ad released
last week by MTV. “We need to step in and do something.”
MTV is also featuring the
#EyesOnChechnya campaign on its website.
“In Chechnya, gay and bisexual men
have been hunted down, rounded up, and continue to be illegally
detained in prison. Many have been tortured and at least three men
have been murdered,” the
page reads. “In spite of these horrors, not enough people are
aware of what’s happening or taking action. Together we can raise
the volume on the public outcry, and let the world know that we have
MTV calls on visitors to take action by
HRC petition urging President Donald Trump to “join other world
leaders from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to German
Chancellor Angela Merkel in making it clear to Russia that lawless
detentions, arrests, torture and murders of LGBTQ people are
RuPaul, Nick Cannon and Lena Dunham are
among the celebrities who have used the hashtag #EyesOnChechnya to
raise awareness about the issue.