The harassment and abuse of LGBTQI+ people occurs all over the world. Pride celebrations, weeks, parades and months are extremely powerful – bringing together a social and political movement to fight for inclusion and respect for human rights. Such movements are fundamental in building inclusive societies and respect for our diverse communities.
Discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is contrary to the basic principle of equal value and rights of all people. No one should have to hide their identity or be forced live under threat and in fear of what would happen if it became known. The UNHCR believes that any person who is subjected to assault, inhuman treatment or serious discrimination on the grounds of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity – and whose government is unable or unwilling to protect the person – should be recognised as a refugee. Read about how UNHCR helps LGBTQ refugees.
Unfortunately, we still have ways to go;
On the 18th of August, the Swedish Human Rights Film Festival will present the film Welcome To Chechnya and a subsequent panel discussion. The film turns to LGBTQI+ activists in the constituent republic of Russia, Chechnya, who are risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya. With unfettered access and a commitment to protecting anonymity, the documentary exposes Chechnya’s underreported atrocities while highlighting a group of people confronting brutality head on. The film follows these activists as they work undercover to rescue victims and provide them with safe houses and visa assistance to escape persecution.
Since 2015, Swedish Human Rights film festival has been hosted by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute and Kino Cinema. The film festival unites movies with critical discussions and knowledge transfer on human rights issues – through workshops, screenings and panel discussions with international experts.
This August, we collaborate with the Malmö Queer Film Festival WorldPride Edition, taking place between the 12 and 22 August. The event is a multifaceted film program with thematic diversity and films from across the globe. On the 18th of August, the Swedish Human Rights Film Festival and the Malmö Queer Film Festival present Welcome to Chechnya. You can find tickets and more details about the location here.
The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion, with Stefan Ingvarsson, cultural attaché in 2015 at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow and one of the Swedish diplomats who followed the development in Chechnya first hand and Inna Bukshtynovich from Civil Rights Defenders. The talk will be moderated by Zuzana Zalanova (The Raoul Wallenberg Institute), and held in English.