RUSSIA: The Muslim-ruled region of Chechnya opens a “concentration camp” where homosexual men are brutally tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death

One-time allies who fought on the side of Hitler in WWII, Chechen Muslims now have their own concentration camp, where some 100 gay men have been rounded up and at least 3 killed in the past week. It’s reported that inmates are being tortured with electric currents and beaten to death by guards trying to get them to rat out others in the gay community.

UK Daily Mail  Novoya Gazeta said authorities had set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.  One of those who escaped told Novoya Gazeta that prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community.

Chechen President Razman Kadyrov allegedly ordered the clampdown, although officially his regime denied the arrests claiming ‘it is impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.’ Kadyrov, who introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region, has been accused of earlier human rights violations.

He described the allegations as ‘absolute lies and disinformation’. Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov told the Interfax News Agency: ‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.  ‘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.’ 

The human rights organization said: “The Chechen 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.

Kadyrov, who introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region, has been accused of earlier human rights violations. Chechen society is strictly conservative, meaning that unlike other cases where relatives or rights activists may put pressure on authorities when a homosexual relative disappears, those suspected are likely to be disowned by their own families. 

Alexander Artemyev, from Amnesty International in Russia, told MailOnline: ‘We can only call on the Russian authorities to investigate the allegations. Homosexuals in Chechyna are treated very harshly and prosecuted daily and they are afraid to talk about it.

The human rights organization said: “The Chechen 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.

They either have to hide or leave the republic. We are keeping in touch with the LGBT network that helps people in Russia to find shelter. The problem is people there cannot talk about it as it puts their lives and those they speak to, in danger. This is the main issue we are facing in Russia and the main challenge.’ 

‘These days, very few people in Chechnya dare speak to human rights monitors or journalists even anonymously because the climate of fear is overwhelming and people have been largely intimidated into silence.  ‘Filing an official complaint against local security officials is extremely dangerous, as retaliation by local authorities is practically inevitable.

‘It is difficult to overstate just how vulnerable LGBT people are in Muslim-ruled Chechnya, where homophobia is intense and rampant. LGBT people are in danger not only of persecution by the authorities but also of falling victim to “honour killings” by their own relatives for tarnishing family honour.’

Chechen president Razman Kadyrov allegedly ordered the crackdown on homosexuals with reports of local TV personalities and religious figures among the men detained. Mr Kadyrov denied the reports, branding the allegations “absolute lies and disinformation” saying homosexuals “do not exist” in the southern Russian republic. 

Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told MailOnline: ‘Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region. 

‘Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.’ 

 

 

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