Russian activists are claiming that Chechen authorities have re-started the arrest and detention of gay and are following-up on a earlier “gay purge” this year.
The Russian LGBT Network and says it has received more calls from Chechnya in the last 72 hours. And it says they contained credible evidence that arrests are happening again.
Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied that the purges have taken place. A spokesperson claimed in April that reports were ‘absolute lies and disinformation’ and there were no gay men in Chechnya.
Former detainees gave harrowing accounts of their treatment in the report.
‘It was like a chain. They get one person, go through his phone, torture him, make him name some others… In the place where I was held, we were four [gay men] at first, but several days later we were already 20.’
Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network describes how his network sees the ‘first hand the pain and suffering’ those who have survived the ‘horrors’ are facing.
‘Russia is failing in its responsibility to allow its own citizens to live in safety and has also failed to hold anyone to account for the appalling abuses that have already taken place.
Two camps were initially reported on three months ago, based in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt, but further investigations revealed a further four jails for gay people, bringing the total number believed to be in the Chechen Republic up to six.
European leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have both raised the issue publicly during meetings with Vladimir Putin, and the UK government has also expressed concerns.
Donald Trump who met with Vladamir Putin yesterday at the G20 summit has been silent on the atrocities.