Chechen queer purge ignites again

On July 13, 2017 The Bay Area Reported reported: Russia’s leading LGBT rights organization has sounded the alarm that individuals suspected of being queer have begun to be rounded up in another wave of detentions and tortures in Chechnya.

The news broke just before last week’s G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin last Friday while both were in Hamburg. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sat in on the meeting.

The Russia LGBT Network’s emergency hotline, which was set up following Novaya Gazeta’s April article that broke the news of detainment and torture of presumed gay and bisexual men, received around 10 calls since June 24, the end of Ramadan, reported BuzzFeed.

The network has evacuated about 40 gay men from the remote Muslim-majority region, placing them in temporary undisclosed safe houses around Moscow, according to media reports. One man arrived safely in his host country, France, reported the New Yorker. Chechen LGBT purgeMonday, July 10 marked 100 days since the news first broke about the human rights atrocity and no action being taken by Russian and U.S. leaders, noted All Out, an international LGBT rights organization.

Since Novaya Gazeta’s first story, the newspaper has reported an estimated six secret prisons where suspected LGBT individuals and others have been detained and tortured.It’s now believed that 27 people were killed in January, some identified as gay men, according to experts at Russian LGBT Network and Human Rights First, who reviewed the list of names recently published by Gazeta, according to media reports.

New evidence is surfacing that men aren’t the only targets of Chechen authorities. While many human rights advocates have stated queer women haven’t been targeted, Chad Griffin, president of Human Rights Campaign, wrote in a July 5 letter to Trump, that lesbians and women assumed to know gay men are also being swept up in the crackdown.

HRC published a 43-page report, ” They Have Long Arms and They Can Find Me,” documenting human rights violations perpetrated by Chechen officials by gay survivors and reporters covering the story.

Read more at: The Bay Area Reporter Online | Chechen queer purge ignites again

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