‘Concentration camps’ opened for Gay Men in Chechnya

Written by SabrangIndia Staff | Published on: April 12, 2017

Chechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov. Photo credit: Getty images

Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that earlier this month over 100 gay men have been detained in "concentration-camp like prisons" in a purge targeting men with “non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such.”

 Several persons are also reported to have died during the violent raids.

In a cynical response, a Chechen government spokesperson denied that there are any gay people to detain, insisting that “you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic”.

However there have been subsequent reports that the men arrested are being kept in horrific concentration camp prisons, where violent abuse and torture is common.
The Kremlin denied any knowledge of a purge. Chechnya is part of Russia but enjoys substantial autonomy.
Change.org has launched a signature campaign petitioning Yuri Chaika, Russia’ Prosecutor General to “investigate mass murder and torture of LGBT people in Chechnya.

The petition:
 
Over a hundred men have been rounded up in Chechnya recently, subjected to humiliation and torture, solely upon suspicion of being gay.

Media suspects mass murders. At this point three men have been confirmed as killed. Early in April Novaya Gazeta published two articles, “Honor Killings” (No 34, 3 April 2017) and “Reprisals Against Chechen Gays” (No35, 05 April 2017), in which a witness stated, “the detained were tortured, violated with a bottle, beaten with shoes. Some were beaten nearly to death and returned to their relatives like a sack of bones. I definitely know of two deaths…”

According to the same paper, the “gay hunt” is being carried out by local law enforcement as a “prophylactic” measure. Targets for such “prophylactics” in Chechnya are many: the use of alcohol and light narcotics, extramarital sexual relationships, “incorrect” appearance, suspicion of extremism, even just traffic violations. This time the cause is an issue that locals traditionally don’t speak about. Those close to the killed haven’t come forward to authorities, fearing their families could be “shamed,” and also because of unofficial support for “honor killings” on the part of authorities themselves. Check also this Dazed article for more info.

We demand a full investigation of all the facts about unlawful repression in Chechnya of LGBT population, punishment for the guilty parties and an end to the practice of extra-judicial violence and killings in the republic.

To sign the petition click here.