After reading about the arresting and killing of dozens of gay men in Chechnya, it's easy for those of us on the other side of the world to feel helpless. But even from the U.S., there's a lot we can do to help. That's why Adam Eli and some of his fellow New Yorkers formed the organization Voices 4 Chechnya, The Huffington Post reports.
The group's goal is to help people fleeing from the violence in Chechnya to the U.S. and they've joined with the organization RUSA LGBT to raise money for refugees who need help getting housing, food, and other necessities. They're also organizing a march from the historic gay bar The Stonewall Inn to Trump World Tower UN Plaza on October 14th. Along with raising money for RUSA LGBT, the protest aims to pressure the government to offer refugees humanitarian parole visas.
"Humanitarian parole visas are essential because, currently, tourist visas are no longer an option," the organization's website reads. "These individuals are hiding from their relatives, the Chechen and Russian governments, making applying for tourist visas virtually impossible. It is crucial to recognize these people as victims of genocide, and the humanitarian catastrophe currently taking place in Chechnya."
You can also help fight the anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya by signing this Change.org petition calling on Russia's Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to investigate the reports, or this Amnesty International petition calling on Aleksandr Ivanovich Bastrykin, Chairman of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation, to do the same.
And to help get people in danger in Chechnya to safety, you can donate to the Russian LGBT Network. We may be across the world, but we're not powerless.