Scoop Models, the Denmark fashion brand Won Hundred, and Amnesty International are taking the Chechen gay genocide into their own hands with a powerful new campaign. “Love is Not a Crime,” a photography series and pop-up fashion line, is made to underscore the horrors of Chechnya’s current political policy regarding homosexuality: One which rounds up gay men, tortures them, and hopes to banish the presence of male homosexuality by the end of its campaign.
“Love is Not a Crime” might not seem like the most hands-on way to fight the injustice going on in Chechnya, but it’s a start. Each tee goes for around $40, and the proceeds go straight to Amnesty International. Marco Van Rijt shot the campaign, featuring named couples standing close together. Some are side by side in black and white, some are made up in extravagant eyeliner and lipstick. Some have shaved heads and bare chests. And some are kissing.
“Abuse of homosexuals is occurring in many places around the world,” said Amnesty International campaign director Helle Jacobsen, “but in Chechnya, we can see that it is a targeted hunt with its only purpose to attack all homosexual men. That is why it is crucial that Denmark and other countries not only put pressure on Russia and Chechnya, but also offer to help the desperate men in severe danger.”