CFR Co-Sponsored: Letter writing campaign - protest violence against gay Chechen men, May 11

May 11, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
York University, Vari Hall
4700 Keele St
Toronto, ON M3J 1P0
Julia Pyryeskina

Letter writing campaign in protest of the imprisonment, torture and murders of gay men in Chechnya

May 11, 2017
10am - 3pm
Vari Hall, York University
(room location TBA)

Pens, paper, envelopes, stamps and letter templates provided!
Coffee & snacks will be served!

For more information, contact Joanna Pearce ( & Julia Pyryeskina (

Since April 2017, independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and other international newspapers and human rights organizations have confirmed the disturbing reports of the persecution of men based on their real or presumed homosexuality in the Chechen Republic, including harassment, violence, the imprisonment of over 100 men in concentration camps, and murder. (source 1) The Russian LGBT Network is organizing the financial and logistical support and evacuation of the victims, as it is unsafe to remain in Chechnya, with the ultimate aim of evacuating them from Russia. (source 2)

Despite these reports, the Canadian government has been slow to take action or to make a commitment to welcome and support the refugee claims of the gay Chechen men. (source 3)

On May 11, we will host a drop-in letter writing campaign at York University urging the investigation of the disappearances of Chechen men, demanding that their human rights and safety be respected, and condemning the violence, imprisonment, and murder of the victims.

The letters will be sent to Russian investigation committees and international human rights organizations.

We will also send separate letters and emails to the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrysia Freeland, and the Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen demanding that the Canadian government take material action by opening the refugee process to the Chechen men’s claims.

Come join us! All letter writing materials provided.
If you want to send emails, please bring your laptop.
May 11, 2017, 10am - 3pm, Vari Hall, York University.

Other ways to get involved:

  •         Sign the online petition at Amnesty International at this link
  •         Donate to the Russian LGBT Network at this link

For more information: