Law enforcement began conducting sweeps after an LGBTQ activist applied for a Pride permit in the region, a Russia newspaper reports and a New York Times source confirms.
More than 100 men have allegedly been detained by security forces and the Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, lists the names of three men reportedly murdered, with suspicions that others detained “in connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,” may have died in extra judicial killings.
The men are believed to have been lured into a trap by law enforcement officials posing as potential dates on social networking sites. Because homosexuality is both legally and culturally forbidden, there is no gay “community,” making it difficult to warn men who are vulnerable to the sweeps.“
Of course, none of these people in any way demonstrated their sexual orientation publicly — in the Caucasus, this is equal to a death sentence,” the Russian newspaper wrote.