Online auction raises $2,709 for organizations helping gay Chechens

The Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens online auction, held May 6–13,  raised $2,709 USD for four organizations that are working to bring gay Chechens to safety. This brings the total raised so far by the group to $10,326.

An ongoing police campaign against gays and people perceived to be gay men in Chechnya has claimed the lives of at least four men and the imprisonment and torture of more than 100. At least 43 have escaped Chechnya and are seeking asylum. Nine have been granted visas to countries outside the Russian Federation.

Authors, publishers, editors and artists donated 51 items and services to the auction to raise money for the Russian LGBT Network, Rainbow Railroad, American Friends of Rainbow Railroad, and ILGA-Europe. Individuals bid on the items, and the winning bidders then made direct donations in the amount of their bids (or greater) to the organizations of their choice. In order to collect auction prizes, winning bidders provided donation receipts to auction organizers.

The breakdown per organization was:

  • Russian LGBT Network: $564
  • Rainbow Railroad: $131
  • American Friends of Rainbow Railroad: $1,814
  • ILGA-Europe: $200

More Ways to Help

If you missed the auction, there are still plenty of ways to get involved.

The authors and publishers in Books Save Lives are donating royalties to the Russian LGBT Network and Rainbow Railroad. And Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens continues to maintain a resource page for individuals looking to make a direct donation, sign a petition, or otherwise get involved.

Thank yous

Thanks to Olivia Helling for organizing the auction and tracking donations. The auction could not have happened without her.

Thanks also to the many authors and book review blogs who publicized the auction, and to the following businesses and individuals for donating items to the auction:

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