Renewed Persecution in Chechnya and Hope for the People who Suffer from It
Persecution in Chechnya has reared its ugly head once again and, just as before, the Russian government seems to deliberately turn a blind eye to this issue. Given that Russia doesn’t have the best track record with LGBT support or human rights issues, this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. These abuses include roundups, detention, torture, and honor killings of gay and bisexual men. Lesbians and bisexual women are less likely to be detained and tortured; however, they need permission from their families to leave and are more likely to suffer from domestic abuse and honor killing.
Transgender people are largely forgotten in this wave of persecution. Trans women are the targets of violence and possible honor killings. No stories have been released regarding trans men, but they are likely subject to abuse as well, especially domestic violence and exorcisms. The charity Rainbow Railroad helps people other places such as Cameroon, Jamaica, Kenya, Honduras and other countries where being LGBT is criminalized. As of 2017, Rainbow Railroad has helped 206 people out of 1157 requests for help, which is about one-fifth of requests sent.
One fifth is better than nothing, but it’s still a low number, especially when this is an opportunity to make such a tangible change in someone’s life. Charity Navigator cannot rate Rainbow Railroad, which may deter some potential donors. However, a lack of a rating isn’t necessarily positive or negative. It just means that a charity lacks certain criteria that it needs to obtain a rating from Charity Navigator. However, according to Charity Navigator, Rainbow Railroad makes less than $50,000 a year, which is less than some individuals. Considering that safe routes may change once antagonizers of LGBT discover them, Rainbow Railroad needs all the help it can receive when it comes to identifying and using safe routes for helping LGBT people escape persecution.