Chechnya “Purge” of Gay Men

The semi-autonomous republic of Chechnya within Russia has been making headlines recently for civil rights violations.

 

Gay and bisexual men have been rounded up and put secret camps, where queer men are tortured and even killed by Chechen authorities.

 

The killings are not only done by the government of Chechnya however, Chechen police have told families to kill their gay children or they will do it for them, and according to survivors, several families have.

 

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the first to report on the “purge” of gays in Chechnya, believes there are at least two secret facilities in abandoned military bases in Chechnya.

 

An interview with survivors was conducted by France 24, the accounts match reports of the abuse, despite the Chechen Government’s denial.

 

“If I go home, my own family will kill me,” said one survivor.

 

“(Chechen officials) kill people,” he said, “They do what they want because they know nobody will come after them because the order has come from above to ‘cleanse the nation’ of people like us.”

 

They use electricity, starvation, and humiliation, recounts the survivor. They make many prisoners eat “only scraps of food,” instead of throwing away leftover foods in the evening, they threw them in the cell to watch the prisoners forced to eat scraps.

 

“They line them up and force them to give themselves a woman’s name,” he said. “Some of them preferred to be killed than to suffer all that.”
Precise numbers of those detained and those killed are unknown. More than 100 men, and possibly hundreds have been detained by Chechen police, and according to the Human Rights Watch, at least three have been killed, and some reports say as many as 20.

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