Gay men have been arrested in a “purge” in the Russian region of Chechnya are reportedly being held in concentration camp-style prisons.
Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained
“in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such”
Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.
A Chechen government spokesperson had a scary response insisting that,
“you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic.”
The Kremlin has denied any knowledge of it but reports have since emerged that the men arrested are being kept in horrific concentration camp prisons, where violent abuse and torture is common.
One man who was released from the camp told the newspaper that he was subjected to violent “interrogations” at the camp, as Chechen officials attempted to get him to confess the names and locations of other gay men. Officials seized his phone, targeting his network of contacts regardless of whether they were gay or not.
The detainees face electric shock torture and violent beatings, while some of them have been held to ransom and used to extort their families. Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch wrote:
“For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya. Law enforcement and security agency officials under control of the ruthless head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, have rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, torturing and humiliating the victims.
Some of the men have forcibly disappeared. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings. At least three men apparently have died since this brutal campaign began.
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 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.”
This is absolutely chilling that this is happening in 2017. (via Pink News)
Sidenote: There’s a bit of an unintended pink triangle theme happening with The WOW Report‘s posts today. Yesterday, it was announced that promoter Daniel Nardicio and Alan Cumming were opening a new gay bar in NYC. Cumming famously played the emcee in Cabaret, whose Kit Kat Club was a haven in Nazi Germany where gays were being persecuted and murdered. Joel Grey, who came out late in life as gay, won an Oscar for that role and his birthday happens to be today. WOW’s Stephen Rutledge honored Grey in #BornThisDay where he used this quote from him,
“There was so much early input about the horror of homosexuality. I remember hearing the sound of my family talking about ‘fagelehs’, Yiddish for little birds, and hearing all the other words, like ‘faggot’. I remember I heard very early in my life about men being entrapped. I thought, this is bad. And we didn’t know any gay people, except a pianist that my father hired. They loved him, but he was marked.”
When looking for a picture on Facebook for of one of the new club’s principals Darren Dryden, I came across the this image he had posted of gays being rounded up in Nazi Germany wearing their pinks triangles.
In Trump‘s America, we need robe vigilant, have the same kind of resistance and to have it sweep across the globe. #Resist