Celebrities have joined a new campaign by MTV calling on people to stand up for gay and bisexual men targeted in the Russian region of Chechnya.
Russian media and human rights groups have claimed at least 100 men have been detained and violently tortured for being gay in secret prisons in the region.
Now a new video for MTV’s #EyesOnChechnya campaign draws attention to the crisis in Chechnya because “not enough people are aware of what happening or taking action.”
“What if you were arrested for going on a date? What if you were imprisoned for having the phone number of a gay man? What if you were tortured for being who you are?” MTV’s video begins.
Celebrities including Titus Burgess and Carson Kressley appear in the video, talking about the Chechen concentration camps and calling for action.
“These guys need our help and they’re our brothers. We need to step in and do something,” Kressley says.
— MTV (@MTV) July 12, 2017
Viewers are urged to sign an email asking US President Donald Trump to join other world leaders in condemning the violence.
Last month, Australian senators from all sides united to move a motion calling for stronger international action.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told the Senate last month “credible information” indicated “very serious” abuses had occurred and the Australian government had raised the issue with the Russian government on five separate occasions, in both Moscow and Canberra.
Countries such as Lithuania, Germany and France have accepted gay refugees from the region.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) July 12, 2017
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) July 14, 2017
— Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) July 12, 2017
— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) July 14, 2017
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) July 12, 2017