Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Chechen gay men 'flee for their lives'

MOSCOW RUSSIA- APRIL 04 Inmates serving a jail sentence are seen at the prison cell inside the Matrosskaya Tishina detention complex Dmitry Korotayev Kommersant via Getty Images
Ellis Copeland | 25 April, 2017, 13:14

Human Rights Watch says a "brutal campaign" has been waged against LGBTI people in Chechnya in recent weeks, with men severely beaten, "forcibly disappeared" and allegedly murdered on suspicion of being gay.

The Moscow wing of a pro-gay NGO known as the Russian LGBT Network is helping gay people escape persecution by Chechen authorities.

In other words, earlier this month the Chechen government's official line is that the stories about the killing and torturing of gay men in secret concentration camps were false because there are no gay people in Chechnya, and if there were gay people in Chechnya, their families would kill them first.

Asked to comment on the Novaya Gazeta threats-to-paper-over-chechen-gay-torture.html">report, Kadyrov's spokesman claimed such punitive treatment of gay men in Chechnya was impossible since they "do not exist" in the region.

The Russian LGBT Network said in a statement on Monday that it continues to work on evacuating the persecuted men, and that about 60 people of those in jeopardy in Chechnya have contacted them.

It comes after the fiercely independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported on 1 April that authorities in the mainly Muslim republic rounded up more than 100 suspected gay men and held them in unofficial detention facilities, leaving at least three dead.

President of Chechnya Ramadan Kadyrov has carried out talks with the Libyan delegation of Al-Bonyan Al-Marsoos in Moscow over the Russian cargo ship detained in Libyan waters since 5 March.

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Mr Duncan revealed that he spoke directly to his counterpart, Russia's deputy foreign secretary Vladimir Titov, to challenge the Russian Federation on human rights abuses against LGBT people.

But now sources say that the Chechen President, Ramzan Kadyrov, wants the area's gay community gone by Ramadan.

As reports of the campaign spread, the United Nations and other global organisations and governments - including the Trump administration - condemned the campaign. When he arrived at the man's apartment, there was a group of agents who began beating him. "I borrowed the money and paid it", he said. "I was hanging on with my last strength". When they met, instead of taking Ismail to his country house as promised, the man drove him to a forest clearing, where three men in military uniform stripped him naked and beat him up, while another filmed.

"Gay men are being treated like animals". His spokesperson told a Russian government news agency it is "impossible to prosecute those who are not in the republic".

If Putin wanted to stop the extermination of gays in Chechnya, he could.

The Novaya Gazeta reporter Irina Gordiyenko, one of the journalists who broke the story, has received a death threat from Chechnya's chief mufti.

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