We were recently surprised by the news of gay persecution in Chechnya, were the police has allegedly rounded up more than a 100 gay men in a ‘prophylactic sweep’. Three men have also been reported as ‘missing’. The New York Times reports:
The men were detained ‘in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,’ the newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, reported, citing Russian federal law enforcement officials, who blamed the local authorities. By Saturday, the paper reported, and an analyst of the region with her own sources confirmed, that more than 100 gay men had been detained. The newspaper had the names of three murder victims, and suspected many others had died in extrajudicial killings.
A spokesman for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, denied the report in a statement to Interfax on Saturday, calling the article ‘absolute lies and disinformation.’
‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,’ the spokesman, Alvi Karimov, told the news agency.
‘If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return,’ Mr. Karimov said.
The sweep, like so much else in Russian politics today, was entangled in the country’s troubled politics of street activism.
Despite the government spokesperson’s denying of the accusations, human right organisations are taking action and urging officials from several countries to take action.
We call out to all the supporters of our Cause and encourage them to take action by signing Amnesty International’s Petition or contributing with the LGBT Russian organisation with a donation: