United Nations (UN) experts on Wednesday, February 13 said they were ‘alarmed’ by a new wave of persecution of LGBT+ people in Chechnya.
United Nations urged the Russian government to protect the rights of people suspected of being LGBT+ and review allegations of human rights abuses.
Since February 2017, authorities in the region – which is a federal subject of the Russian Federation – have abducted, tortured and murdered over 100 people on suspicion of being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Additionally, there have been eyewitness accounts of concentration camps in the region.
Reports of deaths and imprisonment have been confirmed by the Russian LGBT+ Network who released a statement regarding the crisis in Chechnya:
“We know that the detentions are carried out by law enforcement officers, and the victims are illegally detained. The police are doing everything they can to ensure that they cannot leave the Republic or subsequently seek protection in court.”
The statement continued:
“Documents are taken from them, they are threatened with falsification of criminal cases against them or their relatives, they are forced to sign bank forms.”
— Victor Madrigal B. (@victor_madrigal) February 13, 2019
The director of the LGBT+ Network, Igor Kochetov, has confirmed that the mass-persecution of LGBT+ people in Chechnya continues in the region:
“Widespread detentions, torture and killings of gay people have resumed in Chechnya. Persecution of men and women suspected of being gay never stopped. It’s only that its scale has been changing.”
While Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied the purge, claiming that there are “no gay people in Chechnya”, Kadyrov has also encouraged parents of LGBT+ people to kill their children to avoid bringing shame to the family.
“Abuse inflicted on victims has allegedly become more cruel and violent compared with reports from 2017”, a statement released by United Nations on Wednesday said.
Worryingly, they are also preventing victims from leaving the region or filing complaints.
Authorities are confiscating or destroying documents, threatening criminal proceedings, and forcing people to sign blank documents.
Here’s how you can support our queer siblings in Chechnya.
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