LIBERAL Senator Dean Smith has moved a motion in the Senate, along with Senator Penny Wong, drawing attention to the LGBTI crisis in Chechnya.

Gay and bi men have allegedly been detained, tortured and even killed in concentration camps in the region, in an attack on the community that is now being called a genocide.

Just.equal spokesperson, Rodney Croome, welcomed the motion

“We thank senators Smith, Wong, and Rice for their motions, and the Senate for supporting the latest motion,” he said.

“Just.equal has been calling for stronger action by the Australian Government since news reports began emerging of the anti-LGBTI persecution in Chechnya.

“We would also like to see the Prime Minister make a public statement condemning the actions of the Chechen authorities and calling on the Russian Government to step in and stop the persecution.”

Amnesty International has led the fight for protection of queer men in Chechnya, holding protests and arranging petitions calling for international action.

Sir Ian McKellan was a high-profile attendee at a recent protest outside the Russian embassy in London.

The Russian LGBT Network has taken an active role in evacuating gay and bi men from the region. A perhaps unlikely ally has been found in Grindr, as the app has warned people of danger in the area and provided contacts for LGBTI assistance groups.

Growing global concern for the situation in Chechnya comes as Australia has also condemned the recent corporal punishment of two gay men in Aceh, Indonesia.

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