53 Politicians Are Urging President Trump To Break His Silence On Chechnya

Photographed by Stephanie Gonot.
It's been about three months since reports first surfaced that gay and bisexual men were being held in concentration camp-like conditions in Chechnya, but the White House has remained silent on the issue.
Given that the State Department and Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, have spoken out against the abuses, many have taken notice of the fact that President Donald Trump has yet to issue any public statement.
Now, BuzzFeed reports that over 50 members of Congress have signed a letter urging Trump to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about the reported violence.
"When the President speaks out against human rights atrocities, or chooses to stay silent, the world pays attention," the letter reads. "The lives of hundreds of Chechens are at stake, and it is vital that the U.S. uses its full leverage to pressure Russian authorities to end these atrocities, conduct a fair and open investigation and prosecution of these crimes, and swiftly work to provide a safe haven for the marginalized."
The letter, signed by 52 Democrats and one Republican, echoes efforts from activists to pressure the Trump administration to acknowledge the human rights abuses in the region.
In April, Russian newspaper Novoya Gazeta first broke the report that gay and bisexual men in Chechnya were being put into concentration camp-like prisons in a "gay purge" sweeping the region.
While Vladimir Putin previously backed an inquiry into the alleged human rights abuses, the Russian embassy claimed that those investigations are complete, and found that "there are no victims of persecution, threats or violence."
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