Chechnya's anti-gay crackdown resumes, activist says

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov is a strong supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo courtesy of The Telegraph)
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (left) is a strong supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo courtesy of The Telegraph)
After Ramadan ended on June 24, Chechnya again started arresting its LGBT citizens, says Igor Kochetkov of the Russia LGBT Network. About 100 sexual minorities were reportedly arrested in the spring crackdown, and apparently another 10 have been detained since mid-June.

Activists Say Chechnya Has Restarted Its Crackdown Against LGBT People

A Chechen refugee from anti-gay violence spoke to the press, but hid his identity to protect his family still in Chechnya. (Nataliya vasilyeva photo courtesy of The Associated Press)
A Chechen refugee from anti-gay violence spoke to the press, but hid his identity to protect his family still in Chechnya.  (Nataliya Vasilyeva photo courtesy of The Associated Press)

The detention of LGBT people has resumed in the Russian republic of Chechnya, where dozens of gay men were reportedly tortured or killed by authorities earlier this year, according to the activist group Russia LGBT Network.

The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported that around 100 people had been kidnapped in the crackdown in April, but Russian activists reported that sources in the region said the detentions had stopped following an international outcry. Igor Kochetkov of the Russia LGBT Network, which is working to evacuate people targeted in the purge from the region, now tells BuzzFeed News the organization has gotten around 10 calls reporting new detentions since Ramadan ended on June 24.

The news of further detentions comes just before President Donald Trump is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The US State Department issued a statement condemning the detentions, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a congressional committee last month that he did not raise the matter with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during face-to-face talks. …

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his government have denied that any crackdown has occurred, arguing that Chechnya had no gay men within its borders to begin with.

For information about how a supposed Russian investigation of the Chechen crackdown has derailed, read the full article in BuzzFeed.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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