Protestors carried pink triangles
Hundreds of people came together in Madrid to protest Chechnya’s concentration camps for gay men.
About 300 people assembled on the Plaza de Pedro Zerolo in central Madrid to show their support and law down banners against homophobia.
— David Sánchez (@David_SanchezB) April 25, 2017
Attendees also carried pink triangles, which were used by the Nazis as a symbol to mark gay men in concentration camps, as a stark reminder of the ongoing violence against gay men.
— ItGetsBetter España (@ItGetsBetter_es) April 25, 2017
‘We are very proud,’ Rubén López, CEO at Spanish LGBTI organization Arcópoli and the National Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGBT) told Gay Star News.
‘[The] people of Madrid were very concerned about the situation and wanted to show their solidarity with LGBT people of Chechnya.’
— Mauricio Valiente (@mvalienteots) April 25, 2017
Madrid was not the only place where a demonstration took place, he said. LGBTI NGOs in cities all over the countries organized similar events, including in Seville, Alicante, Malaga, and Tenerife.
In Madrid, a number of organizations worked together to make the demonstration possible, López said.
— Rosa Laviña (@RosaLavina) April 25, 2017
But they also had politicians from all major parties, except the Conservatives, attend.
‘We are terrified because of the hate speech of the government of Chechnya,’ Lopéz said.
‘The UN, OSCE and EU must give an answer to these people.’
— Federación Est. LGTB (@FELGTB) April 25, 2017
With their demonstration they wanted to raise awareness of the situation in Chechnya, and to and get the Spanish government to respond.
‘We have asked the Spanish government to condemn the situation in Chechnya,’ López said.
‘And [we asked] the government of Madrid [to] invert on Cooperation and Development in freedom and equality in this region.’
La plaza Pedro Zerolo de Madrid se abarrota para apoyar al colectivo LGTB de Chechenia 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/nza3U1sQjJ
— Shangay (@Shangaycom) April 25, 2017
Since the beginning of April, Chechnya has opened six concentration camps for gay and bisexual men.
At least 200 people are believed to have been detained and at least four men have been killed; survivors report being tortured so they would be willing to give up the names of other gay men.