Horrifying News out of Chechnya: "World's First Concentration Camp for Homosexuals Since Hitler's in the 1930s"

Reports of "mass detentions" were first seen in Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta on April 1. Citing that story, a New York Times story quickly followed. Chillingly, President Ramzan Kadyrov's regime denied the reports of the "world's first concentration camp for homosexuals," calling them "absolute lies and disinformation" and explaining: "You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic."

A spokesperson for the regime added, "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."

That sounds like something the president of Iran has said: "We don't have any gays in Iran." (That is not true.)

As for what's happening in Chechnya, the New York Times reports that officials there find and arrest closeted gay men "partly by posing as men looking for dates on social networking sites." The men are closeted because being out in the Caucasus region "is equal to a death sentence.”

From New York Times:

“I got numerous, numerous signals,” about the sweep of gay men, said Ekaterina L. Sokiryanskaya, Russia project coordinator for the International Crisis Group, and an authority on the North Caucasus. “It came from too many sources not to be true.”

Gay men have begun deleting online accounts, or fleeing the region. One user of Vkontakte, a Russian social networking site, wrote that a 16-year-old boy had been detained in a village in Chechnya. He returned days later, according to the post, “all beaten, just a sack with bones.”
Novaya Gazeta has continued to publish more stories about this.

As the Daily Mail explains in an article published today:

Chechyna has opened the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler, where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death.

It comes after it was claimed 100 gay men had been detained and three killed in Chechnya last week.

A report by Novoya Gazeta said authorities had set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.

One of the camps is reportedly at the former military headquarters in the town of Argun.
According to the Irish Independent, one of Chechnya's human rights officials told a Russian radio station, "I haven’t had a single request on this issue, but if I did, I wouldn’t even consider it."

The official added, "In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities, and do everything to make sure that this kind of person does not exist in our society."

An editorial in the Washington Post yesterday explains:

Ramzan Kadyrov is unlike any other provincial leader in Russia. He rules the republic of Chechnya with brute force and enjoys the indulgence of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. Mr. Kadyrov keeps order in Chechnya, and Mr. Putin keeps out of his way. Now this deal has apparently led to barbaric treatment of gay men in the traditionally conservative Muslim society.

A piece in the Huffington Post today, "Gay Crisis in Chechnya," offers broader context:

Chechnya is a hotbed of Islamic honor killings, usually of young women, but of gay men as well. When gay Chechens who’ve somehow remained alive get out of jail, they are often taken by their male relatives to remote places to be killed and buried. No one even searches for them.

What makes the situation in Chechnya even more egregious is that there is not the slightest accountability on the part of those perpetrating the horrors. When the government of Egypt arrested at least 150 gay men in 2014, many were put on public trial, and due to international outrage and pressure, 26 were actually acquitted the following year. There is nothing even remotely similar in Chechnya, where gays are thrown in special jails, no charges are brought, no trials are conducted, and extrajudicial killings are the norm.

President Ramzan Kadyrov, above with the gun, "who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin, allegedly ordered the clampdown," Daily Mail reports. GETTY IMAGES


Chechnya opens world's first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler's in the 1930s where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death

Chechyna has opened the first concentration camp for homosexuals since Hitler, where campaigners say gay men are being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death. 

It comes after it was claimed 100 gay men had been detained and three killed in Chechnya last week.

A report by Novoya Gazeta said authorities had set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.

One of the camps is reportedly at the former military headquarters in the town of Argun.

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.'

One of those who escaped told Novoya Gazeta that prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community.

Another prisoner who fled said that before being incarcerated in one of the camps, he had been forced to pay bribes to Chechen police of thousands of rubles every month in order to survive.

Now the regime had taken another step against gays by creating these camps, the survivor said. 

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.

'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.'

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group, told MailOnline: 'The story is very much developing...victims are escaping.'

Tanya Lokshina, from Human Rights Watch in Moscow, said: 'For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya.

'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.'

Last week Novoya Gazeta said Chechen police had rounded up more than 100 men suspected of being gay and killed three.

It claimed that among those detained were well-known local television personalities and religious figures.
President Razman Kadyrov, who is a key ally of Vladimir Putin, 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.'

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. 

According to the New York Times, gay men on the region have been deleting their social media profiles after it was reported authorities tried to lure gay men into dates and arrested them.

The reports from Russia claim those arrested range from just 15 to 50. 


Chechnya has opened concentration camps for gay men

Gay men arrested in a ‘purge’ in the Russian region of Chechnya are being held in concentration camp-style prisons, reports have alleged.

Early reports emerged earlier this month that gay people are being targeted in the region, which is part of Russia but has substantial autonomy.

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” as part of a purge. Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.

In a chilling response, a Chechen government spokesperson denied that there are any gay people to detain, insisting that “you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic”. The Kremlin denied any knowledge of a purge.

But reports have since emerged that the men arrested are being kept in horrific concentration camp prisons, where violent abuse and torture is common.

Based on interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports that a secret prison has been set up in the town of Argun to detain the men arrested in the purge.

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 more gay men.

The officials also seized his mobile phone, targeting his network of contacts regardless of whether they were gay or not.

The camp was reportedly set up by Chechen forces in a former military headquarters in the town.

The newspaper reports allegations that the Speaker of the Parliament of Chechnya was among officials to visit the site, though the claims have not been substantiated.

The detainees face electric shock torture and violent beatings, while some of them have been held to ransom and used to extort their families.

The Russian LGBT Network, which is running a support line for men fleeing the region, has confirmed the reports.
LGBT activist Svetlana Zakharova said: “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.”

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch wrote: “For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya.

She continued: “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.”

She added: “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.”

UK Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay has called on Russia to investigate the mass detention of gay men in Chechnya and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

In a statement to PinkNews, Baroness Anelay said: “The detention and ill-treatment of over 100 gay men in Chechnya is extremely concerning. Reports have also suggested that at least three of these men have been killed.
“The statement by the regional Government, implying that such treatment towards LGBT people is acceptable, is particularly abhorrent. We condemn any and all persecution, and call on the authorities to promptly investigate and ensure that perpetrators of human rights abuses are brought to justice.

“The human rights situation for LGBT people in Russia has deteriorated significantly in recent years and we continue to voice our serious concern with Russian authorities at all levels.

“Russia’s international human rights obligations require them to protect citizens who may be at risk of persecution. We expect the Russian government to fulfill its obligations to this end, and to uphold the rule of law.

0 Response to "Horrifying News out of Chechnya: "World's First Concentration Camp for Homosexuals Since Hitler's in the 1930s""