A candlelight vigil to raise money for the victims of a reported campaign of gay persecution in the Russian region of Chechnya will be held on the Sunshine Coast.
Russian media and human rights groups say at least 100 men have been detained and violently tortured because of their homosexuality in secret prisons in Chechnya, with several men reportedly dead.
One group, the Russian LGBT Network, said earlier this month they’d rescued 40 men from further violence.
This Friday (May 19) the Sunshine Coast Pride Network will hold a vigil for the Chechen men. The group will collect donations to send to Canadian charity Rainbow Railroad who are working with the Russian LGBT Network to help provide legal assistance, visas, transportation and other necessities to Chechen men who’ve contacted local activists for help.
“We would like as many people to come and show our solidarity with these men and raise awareness of this issue which has unfortunately not garnered much mainstream media attention,” Pride Network organisers said, adding they were disappointed the federal government blocked a vote on a motion on Chechnya in the Senate last week.
“Please bring a candle, donate if you can and show the world we care.
“We think a message needs to be sent by all Australians that we are not willing to sit by and watch this abuse continue.”
The vigil will be held in Cotton Tree Park in Maroochydore from 6:30 to 9:00pm on Friday, May 19. For more information, see the Facebook event here.