More than 100 men, suspected of being gay, have been allegedly rounded up and subjected to torture in Chechnya.
According to a Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, dozens of men, suspected of being gay, have disappeared in the Muslim-majority Russian Republic of Chechnya. Three have reportedly been murdered.
Meanwhile, the 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.
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.
Amongst the missing are two television reporters and at least one religious leader.
The men had been detained in “connection with their nontraditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such,” Novaya Gazeta reported.
According to The Independent Tatyana Lokshina of the Human Rights Watch in Moscow said,
“It’s a vicious attack against LGBT people. It’s happened for several weeks under order of leadership,”
She revealed that many of the men had been tortured and humiliated. She said that there had been reports that three had been killed.