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Permanent Mission of Iceland in Vienna

Iceland among 15 OSCE participating States asking questions regarding accusations of serious human rights violations against LGBTI people in the Republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation.

Iceland is among 15 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) asking questions regarding answers from authorities in the Russian Federation to accusations of serious human rights violations against LGBTI people in the Republic of Chechnya in the Russian Federation.

A letter, signed by representatives of the 15 states in Vienna, on the matter was delivered to the Russian OSCE Delegation today, 30th August, and a corresponding declaration read at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, under the title of  „Invoking the Vienna Mechanism in relation to serious human right violations in Chechnya, Russian Federation”. The title refers to the so-called Vienna Mechanism, which stipulates that OSCE participating states can launch an investigating procedure against a participating state without a consensus of all participating states on the matter. The above mentioned letter is the first step of the Vienna Mechanism which is the tabling of questions to the Russian Federation which will have to be answered within 10 days. The question are (see the attached letter)):

1. What steps have been taken by the federal authorities to ensure Chechen officials abide by the Russian Federation’s OSCE commitments?

2. How have Russian federal authorities investigated allegations of violations and abuses reportedly committed against actual or perceived LGBTI persons, and how have they arrived at the conclusion (as repeated by Russian authorities) that no such violations or abuses have occurred and that no LGBTI persons exist in Chechnya?

3. What steps have been taken by the federal authorities to ensure the ability of civil society and media actors to freely document and report, without reprisal, on human rights concerns in Chechnya, in particular the human rights organization, Memorial?

4. How have Russian federal authorities investigated the fate of each of the 27 individuals who were reportedly extrajudicially executed by Chechen authorities in Grozny in January 2017?

Signatory states are the Nordic Countries, the Baltic Countries, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The letter signed by representatives of the 15 states.

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