Chechnya Authorities Reportedly Detained and Tortured 100 Gay Men
Posted on Apr 11, 2017
Earlier in April, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta published a startling report: that police in Chechnya had detained over 100 gay men and killed three in a state-sponsored anti-gay campaign. Now, human rights groups and the U.S. State Department are calling for a full investigation.
Other human rights groups have received similar information. The Russian LGBT Network shared hotline messages received between March 29 and April 2, stemming from anonymous informants who said they were detained and harmed by Chechen authorities.
One anonymous informant, the network states,
Human Rights Watch has received similarly disturbing reports, according to an April 4 press release:
Amnesty International UK and Amnesty International USA have called for action.
“Hundreds of men suspected of being gay are being abducted, tortured and even killed in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya,” Amnesty International UK states. “The Chechen government won’t admit that gay men even exist in Chechnya, let alone that they ordered what the police call ‘preventive mopping up’ of people they deem undesirable.”
The U.S. State Department also released a statement calling for an investigation into the reports.
“We urge the Russian government to conduct an independent and credible investigation into the alleged killings and mass arrests, and hold the perpetrators responsible,” a State Department official said in a statement given to BuzzFeed News.
“We were likewise deeply disturbed by local authorities statements that apparently condone and even incite violence against LGBTI persons,” the statement continued. “We are very concerned by the widespread discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons in Russia or any society. We call on the Russian government to protect all people from discrimination and violence, and allow the free exercise of the freedoms of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion or belief.”
The reports are gaining attention just as Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, visits Moscow. Human rights organizations have called on Tillerson to discuss allegations of LGBT abuses in Chechnya with Russian officials during his visit.
“He rules the republic of Chechnya with brute force and enjoys the indulgence of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin,” the Washington Post Editorial Board wrote in an April 9 op-ed. “The roundup is another example of Mr. Kadyrov’s depravity… Mr. Putin, who so often insists that Russia be treated respectfully in the world, should display some backbone in response to the latest reported atrocity, facing down Mr. Kadyrov, releasing the terrified gay detainees and investigating how such frightful intimidation was allowed to happen.”
—Posted by Emma Niles.
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