World Refugee Day: How One Gay Man Escaped Anti-LGBTQ Violence in Chechnya

“Amin’s story of escaping anti-LGBTQ violence in Chechnya is heartbreaking, inspiring and sends a powerful message highlighting the strength and resilience of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers,” said Human Rights Campaign Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives & Research, Ty Cobb.

“On World Refugee Day, we are in solidarity with LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence and conflict from some of the most dangerous places in the world. Today and every day, HRC is united with our partners in sending a resounding message that we are a proud nation of immigrants, and refugees are welcome here,” Cobb said.

“In 2017, police in Chechnya began a crackdown against LGBTQI citizens. Hundreds were arrested and tortured, simply for who they love or how they express their gender. One of those people was Amin, who we helped escape to Toronto,” said Rainbow Railroad Executive Director Kimahli Powell. Amin is the victim of the horrific anti-LGBTQ purge that took place in Chechnya in 2017. With the help of Rainbow Railroad, Amin escaped to Toronto, where he has become an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and the work of Rainbow Railroad, a Canada-based international organization that helps LGBTQ people escape countries where they may face danger because of their LGBTQ identity.

Richard Hack is an award-winning author and journalist. He Is LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings' Vice President of Content and Executive Editor of

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