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Gay concentration camps in Chechnya

Gay men are being held for weeks; at least three have died. Some who have been returned to their families are "barely alive" after being severely beaten.

It is important to note that this is being done with the official support of the government: Ramzan A. Kadyrov is the head of the Chechen republic. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry about him:

In April 2017, reports emerged that gay men in Chechnya were being arrested, detained in concentration camps, and tortured as part of a region-wide pogrom.[11] Russian President Putin said on May 5th, that he would personally ask the Russian Prosecutor General and Interior Ministry to help Kremlin rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova check the reported abuse. [12] It is reported that Kadyrov has promised to "eliminate" the gay population of deeply conservative, Muslim Chechnya before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts, at the end of May 2017.[13]

Here is an except from Wikipedia's page on gay concentration camps in Chechnya.

Since February 2017, over 100 male residents of the Chechen Republic (part of the Russian Federation) assumed to be gay or bisexual have been rounded up, detained and tortured by authorities on account of their sexual orientation.[1] These crackdowns have been described as part of a systemic anti-LGBT purge in the region. The men have been held and allegedly tortured in what human rights groups and eyewitnesses have called concentration camps.[2][3]

Allegations were initially reported in Novaya Gazeta on April 1, 2017[4] a Russian-language opposition newspaper, which reported that over 100 men have allegedly been detained and tortured and at least three people have died in an extrajudicial killing. The paper, citing its sources in the Chechen special services, called the wave of detentions a "prophylactic sweep."[4][5] The journalist who first reported on the subject has gone into hiding,[6][7] There have been calls for reprisals for journalists reporting on the situation.[8]

Chechnya and Russian authorities have denied any knowledge about the arrests. In response, the Russian LGBT Network is attempting to assist those who are threatened to evacuate from Chechyna.[9][10] Human rights groups and foreign governments have called upon Russia and Chechyna to put an end to the internments.[11]

The New York Times reported the following on 04/21/2017, corroborated by the Human Rights Watch:

Maksim said it had started with a chat room conversation with “a very good old friend who is also gay,” and who suggested that they meet at an apartment. When Maksim arrived, however, he was greeted not by his friend but by agents who beat him. Later, they strapped him to a chair, attached electrical wires to his hands with alligator clips and began an interrogation.

“They yelled, ‘Who else do you know?’” Maksim said, and zapped him with current from time to time. “It was unbearably painful; I was hanging on with my last strength,” he added. “But I didn’t tell them anything.”

Homosexuality is taboo in Chechnya and the mostly Muslim surrounding areas of the Caucasus region in southern Russia. “This society is highly homophobic,” said Ekaterina L. Sokiryanskaya, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group and an authority on Chechnya. “Homosexuality is condemned. It is believed Islam considers it a great sin.”

Ways to help:

  • Sign this petition created by Amnesty International.
  • Use this contact form to e-mail the Russian embassy to your country.
  • E-mail the Russian LGBT network directly at kavkaz@lgbtnet.org to find out how you can do more to help.
  • Get involved in your community by finding out about local protests of the horrors currently happening in Chechnya. Spread awareness among your friends and family.
  • Donate to the Rossiykaya LGBT Network

Sources:
Medium; Out.com

This entry was originally posted at http://pointedview.dreamwidth.org/576487.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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