|Razman Kadyrov “No gays in chechnya”|
Gay men are being rounded up and put into ‘concentration camps’ in Chechnya, it has been claimed.
Around 100 men have been apprehended in the region and put in the first camps for LGBT people since the Holocaust. Some are believed to have been killed.
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The majority-Muslim region is said to be using the camps to force homosexuals to promise to leave the republic.
Repressions against gay men reportedly began after an application for a gay rights march in the capital of Grozny.
The men are reportedly being held in ‘camps’ for gay men and LGBT rights activists are mounting an effort to evacuate them.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, listens to Chechen leader Kadyrov (Picture: AP)
Russian group LGBT Network said: ‘No national and/or religious traditions and norms can justify kidnapping or killing of a human being.
‘Any references to “traditions” to justify kidnappings and killings are amoral and criminal.
Adding: ‘The Russian LGBT Network is ready to evacuate people.’
The precarious situation for LGBT men in recent years began with President Putin’s clampdown on gay rights in 2013.
|The prison or ‘camp’ allegedly used to house gay men (Picture: Google Maps)|
Alexander Artemyev from Amnesty International Russia told Metro.co.uk: ‘This case is one of the most difficult we ever dealt with.’
Although the group can not independent verify claims of camps, Artemyev said ‘Given the very homophobic environment and “honour killing” practices in Chechnya it’s almost impossible to get any verified information as people are too afraid to talk.
‘That’s why we have called on Russian authorities to take all measures possible to investigate the allegations made by the Novaya Gazeta informants, meanwhile we make every effort to obtain as much information as we can.’
LGBT rights groups are now trying to expose the ‘camps’ in which gay men are being kept.
What can I do?
Alexander Artmyev from Amnesty International spoke to Metro.co.uk.
He said that people who are not in Russia can help by joining the charity’s Urgent Action on Chechnya.
The action encourages people to write in Russian or your own language to Chairman of the Investigation Committee and Acting Head of the Investigation Committee for the Chechen Republic.
Amnesty has also asked the letter, which should ask for an investigation and appeal for protection for LGBT individuals, to be copied into Human Rights groups and diplomatic missions from your country.
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.’
Gay men have almost all stated they were taken to a secret prison in Argun, Chechnya, thought to be empty.
A young man from Grozny came forward to say his friend was forced to confess to being a homosexual.
Razman Kadyrov is said to be personally involved in the round-ups (Picture: GETTY)
He said: ‘He was detained by some security officials on suspicion of homosexuality.
‘In order to get the confession, they beat him with a hose and tortured with electricity.
‘He reported that about 30 people were locked in the same room together with him. According to him, the security officials themselves stated that the order came from the leaders of the Republic.
‘The detained were forced to share the contacts of other gay men. The more the person informed, the longer he was detained.’
Another man was ‘detained and tortured for several days’ by security forces.
Explosively respected Russian news outlet, Novaya Gazeta has published images of two Chechen police officers with the Speaker of the regional Parliament and the chief of the OMVD, security services.
It alleges involvement with these senior figures in the Chechen crackdown.
The leader of Chechnya, Razman Kadyrov, is close to President Putin and introduced so-called Muslim law in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the Chechen leader, Ali Karimov, told RIA Novosti: ‘It is impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.’
Adding to Interfax 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.’