Over a hundred men suspected of being gay have been abducted, tortured and even killed in the
southern Russian republic of Chechnya according to credible sources inside the
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. We urgently need your help to call out the Chechen authorities on
the persecution of people who are, as they put it, of 'non-traditional
orientation', and urge immediate action to ensure their safety.
ABDUCTIONS, TORTURE AND KILLINGS
independent daily newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, more than 100 men suspected of being
gay have been abducted as part of a coordinated campaign. It claims the men
have been tortured and otherwise ill-treated, and three are reported to have
been killed by their captors – but there could be more.
Call on Chechen authorities to urgently investigate these reports of serious human rights violations against gay men and hold those responsible to account >>
Far from taking
responsibility, the Chechen authorities deny that gay men even exist in
‘You cannot arrest
or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,’ Kadyrov spokesman Alvi Karimov told Interfax. ‘If there were such people 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
And he would be
Even though some
men have reportedly been released - possibly because their captors were unable
to verify their sexual orientation - they remain in grave danger because of
local homophobia and intolerance. They may even be at risk of being killed by
their own families.
are still practiced in the North Caucasus, particularly in deeply conservative
Chechnya. Men deemed to have ‘tarnished’ the family’s honour are often killed
by a family member.
Kheda Saratova, a
member of the Human Rights Council, has commented that Chechen society and
Chechnya’s 'whole justice system' would treat anyone who kills a gay relative
She later claimed
that she had been misunderstood and that the revelation that there were gay men
in Chechnya had shocked her so much that she was unable to think clearly.
Novaya Gazeta, an atmosphere of anti-gay feeling has been growing in Chechnya
since early March when local media reported that Moscow-based gay rights
group GayRussia.ru had applied for permits to stage gay rights
rallies across Russia, including in Muslim-majority regions.
Members of the NGO
Russian LGBT Network have created a hotline offering help to those who may be
looking for safety outside the region.
Write a letter: Russian Federation: Newspaper threatened for reporting on abductions