On Chechnya: ‘We can save a lot of people.’

Banner says "Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov's threat to "eliminate" the gay community in Chechnya by the end of May. As pressure increases on LGBT Chechens, more are sure to flee, and they need our support to find a safe place to land."

Chechnya seems far away, and unimportant. Isn’t that always the way it seems? The world is such a big place, and there are so many people in it. There’s so much suffering. What can one person do about all that? It turns out that one person can do a lot for good, or ill. …

Thirty years ago I might have read about the graves, the tragedy, the shadowed after-effects of what had happened months or years after the fact, if at all. But it’s the year 2017 and a network is up and running to get people who are still alive and in danger right now out of Chechnya. They’re in the news, and they’re getting people at risk out of Chechnya right now. In a year or two, I fear it might be over one way or another but this is happening fast enough, fiercely enough that I think that we can save a lot of people. Real people. We can do this.

That’s what fantasy author EM Prazeman wrote in a post on the book blog Christina’s Bookshelf, and I couldn’t have said it better.

It’s a busy week for Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens. Our online auction is live, and lots of blogs have invited us to stop by and spread the word about what’s going on in Chechnya and the Russian Federation in general.

Dianne Hartsock and Kim Fielding stopped by MM Good Book Reviews. Kim said, “As part of my day job, I’ve been studying hate crime for over two decades, and I’m well aware of how bad things can get. I think the fight against bias and violence is eternal, but every battle counts.”

Over on author Aidee Laidnier’s blog, Jo Tannah and Andrew Jericho talked about their reasons for getting involved. All three authors are involved in raising funds for the Russian LGBT Network and other organizations dealing with the situation in Chechnya.

And on Dianne Hartsock’s blog, J. Scott Coatsworth reminded readers about the need to speak out for those who can’t speak, while erotic romance author Laura Baumbach added, “I got involved in Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens because … acceptance and respect extends to the world, not just my little corner of it. Love is too precious to be destroyed by hatred and intolerance.”

In Chechnya – What can you do?, author Jodi Payne wrote about Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s threat to “eliminate” the gay community in Chechnya by the end of May. As pressure increases on LGBT Chechens, more are sure to flee, and they need our support to find a safe place to land. Over the past month, the Russian LGBT Network has already helped evacuate 40 Chechens being persecuted for their perceived sexual orientation.

Learn how to help at Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.



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