Gay men are being rounded up and sent to concentration camps in Chechnya and tortured, human rights groups claim. Approximately 100 gay men were allegedly arrested and taken to LGBT concentration camps in the Russian region in what is being referred to as a “gay purge.” Protests against the gay concentration camps are now being held in multiple countries.
The gay men in Chechnya have allegedly been arrested and imprisoned because of their “non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,” reported MSN.
Men claiming to have survived the gay camps said 30 to 40 individuals are kept in the same room and subjected to daily beatings and various forms of torture, the Novaya Gazeta reports. The alleged prisoners also claimed they were subjected to electrical current torture and forced to sit on bottles while being questioned by Chechen guards.
— #LGBTHour????️???? (@LGBTHour_) April 10, 2017
Chechen leaders maintain no gay camps exist in the region. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen republic, does not appear to believe lesbians and gay men exist in his country. Kadyrov was appointed to his leadership post by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chechnya is an autonomous nation located in the southern region of Russia, and ISIS has been known to operate in the Muslim-majority region.
“It’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic,” said Alvi Karimov, a representative of the Chechen leadership. “If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”
The gay men allegedly detained in the concentration camps in Chechnya said at least three men died inside the makeshift prisons. The individuals claiming to have survived the torture have also said the Chechen guards are attempting to make them promise to leave the republic if set free.
Chechnya allegedly created the gay camps after a Russian LGBT group, GayRussia.ru, tried secure a permit to host a gay rights demonstration in the capital city of Grozny.
“Queer rights, human rights” – protest happening now outside Russian embassy against concentration camps for gay people. Sign the petition! pic.twitter.com/3xHaPvhvMK
— Amy Ashenden (@AmyAshenden) April 12, 2017
A Russian gay rights group, the LGBT Network, is trying to garner awareness about the alleged Chechen concentration camps and offering help to the gay men supposedly detained there, survivors, and homosexual men now afraid of being rounded up and sent off to prison.
“No national and/or religious traditions and norms can justify kidnapping or killing of a human being. Any references to ‘traditions’ to justify kidnappings and killings are amoral and criminal,” a statement by the Russian LGBT rights group said.
The LGBT Network also told the press they have received multiple calls to the hotline they set up to respond to the gay camps. The gay men who called detailed the torture and abuse allegedly going on inside the secret concentration camps. One man claiming to have been a detainee said guards questioned and abused him in an effort to force him to share the names and locations of his peers.
Gay Chechen men are reportedly deleting their social media counts and attempting to cover any public trace of their homosexual identity to avoid arrest and incarceration. A report by Pink News, which included an interview with Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, revealed claims the gay men released from the concentration camps in Chechnya were “barely alive” after sustaining frequent and severe beatings.
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