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Veronika Lapina


Veronika Lapina is a human rights defender working on the protection of LGBT+ persons in Chechnya who are facing risks on the basis of their actual or perceived sexuality and gender identity. As a direct result of her work, more than 100 gay, lesbian and bisexual people have been evacuated from Chechnya in order to avoid the imminent danger they were facing there. On a number of occasions Lapina has had to travel to Chechnya on her own to provide assistance to the those at risk thus putting herself in significant danger. Despite the attempts to keep her human rights activities as discrete as possible, she receives threats in connection to her human rights work and her membership of the LGBT+ community on a regular basis.


Chechnya / the Chechen Republic is a predominantly Muslim, ultra-conservative society where homophobia is widespread, homosexuality is taboo, and the situation of the LGBT+ community has been vastly deteriorating in recent years. In April 2017, a massive wave of detentions and torture of individuals who were understood to be part of the Chechen LGBT+ community took place.


2019 Front Line Defenders ECA Regional Award - Veronika Lapina, Russia