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AUF praises unanimous House Committee action in support of gay Chechens

Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2017) – AUF Senior Advisor Tyler Deaton praised the House Foreign Affairs Committee for its unanimous passage today of H. Res. 351, Condemning the Violence and Persecution in Chechnya:

"AUF thanks the members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for coming together in true bipartisanship to highlight the anti-gay atrocities being perpetrated by the Chechen Republic in Russia."

Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R; CA-39) made the following statement during the markup, “[Today] we consider H. Res. 351 condemning the violence and persecution in Chechnya, where Chechnyan strongman Ramzan Kadyrov is waging a brutal campaign against men who are gay including their abduction, the detention, their torture. The Russian newspaper which broke this story has also been threatened. There needs to be a serious investigation and a stop to this medieval violence. Russia cannot tolerate such intolerable brutality and also purport to be worthy of participating on the global stage.”

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R; FL-27) added, “We know that freedom and human rights are universal and for all people to enjoy, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, or any other basis. And because we believe in this cause, this body cannot sit idly by while hundreds of men are being beaten and tortured, and some even killed, by Chechen authorities. This bipartisan resolution calls on the Chechen leader to immediately cease the abduction and violence of men based on their real or perceived sexual orientation, and calls on Putin to uphold international commitments and protect the human rights of all people.”

Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R; MO-2) shared the following remarks, “And I, too, want to join the chorus of others who stand with the LGBT community in Chechnya. The brutality and the prejudice is, again, unthinkable. And I’m glad that this committee is standing together as a whole.”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R; CA-48) also shared, “But let us note that I support a bill today which would draw attention to the suppression of the LGBT community in Chechnya. The fact is, when Russia does something wrong, we should condemn it. We should make sure that is a policy, and this type of, again, repression by an ally in our fight against radical Islam, it behooves us to be on record against that policy in Russia. And let the people of the world know that we stand for freedom in the United States of America, and also don’t put up with this type of bloody repression.”

Deaton continued: "We commend Chairman Royce for his committee leadership on this matter and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for sponsoring the resolution. The resolution, having been marked up and reported out of the committee, now proceeds to the full House for consideration, where we encourage Republicans and Democrats to continue in this bipartisan spirit, standing together against the anti-gay violence in Chechnya and Russia."

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