The intolerance and abuse of LGBT people living in Russia and its national “Anti-gay Propaganda” law have always made news. But now, atrocities committed by the state against gay men in Chechnya, a predominantly Muslim republic in Russia are making global headlines.
In what is being called a “prophylactic sweep” more than one hundred suspected gay men have disappeared from the streets of Chechnya over the last week as confirmed by Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper. According to a New York Times report,
“First, two television reporters vanished. Then a waiter went missing. Over the past week, men ranging in age from 16 to 50 have disappeared from the streets of Chechnya.
On Saturday, a leading Russian opposition newspaper confirmed a story already circulating among human rights activists: The Chechen authorities were arresting and killing gay men… By Saturday, the paper reported, and an analyst of the region with her own sources confirmed, that more than 100 gay men had been detained. The newspaper had the names of three murder victims, and suspected many others had died in extrajudicial killings.”
According to a another article from theGuardian.com,
“Alvi Karimov, spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, described the report… If there were such people [gays] in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”
The Novaya Gazeta article claimed three people had been killed, and suggested others could have been handed over to their families with the expectation that the family would perform an honour killing.
An LGBT rights organization in St Petersburg has set up an anonymous hotline for gay people in Chechnya to seek help with evacuation from the republic. After years of threats and repression, there are almost no independent journalists or rights activists able to work in the region, and those who do work on human rights in the republic dismissed the newspaper report.”
We can be sure that The United States and our Russian puppet President will look the other way as these crimes continue to happen.
(Main photo credit: Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov Photo by ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)