Disturbing reports are emerging that Chechnya officials have opened a “concentration camp” for gay people after 100 men were allegedly rounded up last week.
Gay men who were rounded up in Chechnya last week are reportedly being kept, locked up in a “camp”, separated from their families, homes and friends. There have been reports of murders and torture.
According to a Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, last week, men, suspected of being gay, disappeared overnight in the Muslim-majority Russian Republic of Chechnya.
A spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, said, that the report was “lies and disinformation” and claimed that gay people did not “exist in the republic”. The report was even dismissed as a sick April Fool’s joke, by the region’s interior ministry.
Now, new reports are suggesting that the men who were captured are being held in “concentration camps”, the first in Europe since the second world war.
This aggression against gay men reportedly began after an LGBT organisation applied for the rights to march in the capital of Grozny.
The Republic is known for being very conservative and has a Sunni Muslim majority population. LGBT people who come out are often shunned by their families. Chechnya is formally part of Russia, but functions ostensibly, as an independent state, taking many of Russia’s laws as its own, including Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, which it passed in 2013.
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”.
“The Russian LGBT Network is ready to evacuate people”.
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.”
It has not been possible to verify these claims.