Post submitted by Brian McBride, former HRC Digital Strategist 

As reports continue to paint a terrifying  picture of the attacks on gay and bisexual Chechens, a bipartisan group of representatives have released a resolution condemning the violence while holding Russia and Chechen authorities accountable.

U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Ed Royce (R-CA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced H. Res. 351, condemning the violence and persecution in Chechnya, which has been going on at least since the story broke in early April.

“For over a month, hundreds of gay or perceived to be gay Chechens have been arrested, many have been tortured, and some even killed,” Ros-Lehtinen, whose son is transgender, said in a statement. “This bipartisan resolution sends a clear message to Chechnya and Russia authorities and any oppressor that the U.S. will not stand idly while these human rights atrocities are being committed.”

HRC has called on the U.S. government to condemn these heinous crimes and grant victims asylum -- and U.S. lawmakers are now putting pressure on the Russian President Vladimir Putin to investigate.

“We are witnessing the unfolding of a horrific tragedy and it’s long past time that the Kremlin start protecting its own citizens -- all of them -- regardless of sexual orientation,” Engel said in a statement. “That’s why I introduced this bipartisan resolution with my colleagues -- to send a clear signal that Republicans and Democrats alike call on President Putin to respect and promote the dignity of all persons and provide safe haven for all those fleeing such horrific persecution.”

HRC will continue fighting against these brutal acts. We have our #EyesOnChechnya and these barbaric human rights violations must end.

The #EyesOnChechnya campaign is a partnership of HRC and Human Rights First.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to stop these atrocities from happening.

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