Press Release

The Belgian Government is putting violence against homosexual men in Chechnya on the agenda of the Council of Europe

Prime Minister Charles Michel and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders wish to repeat their extreme concern with regard to information emanating as of last month from international and national organisations on violence committed towards homosexual men in the Republic of Chechnya.


As soon as this information was published, Belgium intervened both with the Russian authorities and with the Council of Europe, the organisation tasked with ensuring the respect of Human Rights in Europe, to request that the Russian authorities, in accordance with their international human rights obligations, investigate these crimes, prosecute the perpetrators and compensate the victims.


These procedures with the Russian authorities were conducted both bilaterally and in consultation with Belgium’s European partners. The Prime Minister and the Minister note that the Russian authorities have announced that the Russian Commissioner for Human Rights is looking into the issue and that the Public Prosecutor of Chechnya is currently conducting an investigation. However, the situation is anything but clear and vigilance very much remains the order of the day.


Minister Reynders will, in the name of Belgium, repeat this question once again during the Ministerial meeting of the Council of Europe to be held in Cyprus on 19 May. He will request that the Council of Europe organise an investigation and remind Russia once again of its obligations to fight all discrimination and take every possible step to ensure that justice prevails.