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donderdag 31 mei 2018

They helped me when I was detained in Russia

Dear friends –
In May 2017, I was detained in Russia.
I joined a group of Russian activists trying to deliver more than 2 million signatures to the Russian government, calling for an end to the anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya. When we arrived, the police were already there, waiting to take us away.
I ended up being released that day, thanks to a group called Stimul. It was very scary, but they helped me secure legal support to get out and get home safely.
Now Stimul is helping LGBT+ refugees who are stuck in Russia find safe and secret temporary housing while they’re waiting for asylum in safer countries. Refugees like Ibrahim, who fled Chechnya after discovering that he was on the government’s list of men being targeted because of their sexual orientation.
Stimul is doing amazing work in Russia, but they need our help to keep these refugees safe.
Can you donate today to help LGBT+ refugees who are stuck in Russia?
Thanks for going All Out,
Yuri Guaiana
Senior Campaigns Manager
Previous email:
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Dear friends,
When I was 15, my family found out that I'm gay. In Chechnya, where I'm from, this can be like a death sentence.
For three years, they tortured and abused me. They drugged me, beat me, and gave me electric shocks to try and "cure" me from being gay.
I didn't think things could get any worse, but last year I became a part of Chechnya's "gay purge." My boyfriend worked for the government and told me I was on a list of targeted men. Shortly after, he disappeared and I never heard from him again.
I was terrified and knew I had to get out of Chechnya, so I fled to Russia. It was my only option.
Life in Russia still isn't safe. LGBT+ people are treated terribly, partly thanks to Russia's notorious "Gay Propaganda Law," which makes even talking about my identity a crime. I'm trying to get relocated to a safer country, but the asylum process can take years.
LGBT+ refugees stuck in Russia. DONATE to HELP
There's a group here trying to help me. They're called Stimul and they can provide secret and safe temporary housing for LGBT+ refugees while we work on getting out of Russia. Stimul just needs the funds to do it.
I'm not the only LGBT+ refugee from Chechnya stuck here in Russia. There are many of us, but we have to be extremely careful not to expose our identities.
Getting out of Chechnya alive was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Those caught by the government under suspicion of being gay or bisexual were detained, kept in secret prisons, and tortured. Some were murdered.
Many men who managed to escape or get released, ended up disappearing, likely victims of "honour killings" by their families.
I had no choice but to leave my home in Chechnya for Russia. But I need your help to stay safe while I try to get asylum somewhere else.
Thanks for going All Out,
Ibrahim*
* I'm not using my real name to make sure I'm safe.

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