Chechnya Opens Concentration Camps For Gay Men

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Source: Pantheos

Security forces in Chechnya are detaining, beating, and killing gay men in the world’s first concentration camps since the Holocaust.

In more horrific news brought to you by “the religion of peace,” gay men are being hunted down, rounded up, and put into concentration camps in Chechnya. Huffington Post reports:

Authorities in Chechnya, a Muslim stronghold, are arresting, torturing, and killing gay men.

The New York Times reports:

First, two television reporters vanished. Then a waiter went missing. Over the past week, men ranging in age from 16 to 50 have disappeared from the streets of Chechnya.

On Saturday, a leading Russian opposition newspaper confirmed a story already circulating among human rights activists: The Chechen authorities were arresting and killing gay men.

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reports that a secret prison has been set up in the town of Argun to detain the men arrested in the purge. According to the report, Chechen authorities have set up several camps where homosexuals are killed or forced to promise to leave the republic.

One of those who escaped told Novoya Gazeta that prisoners were beaten to force them to reveal other members of the gay community.

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.

Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.

Another survivor of the camps opined:

When the [electric] current is flowing and your body begins to shake, you stop thinking and begin to scream. You sit there the whole time and hear the cries of people being tortured.

The Economist also reports Chechen security forces are torturing suspected homosexuals in secret prisons.

However, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, denied reports of the concentration camps, and described the allegations as “absolute lies and disinformation.”

Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov told the Interfax News Agency:

You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.

If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.

In other words, the Chechen government’s official line is that the story is false because there are no gay people in Chechnya, and if there were gay people in Chechnya, their families would kill them first.

As Head of the Chechen Republic, Kadyrov has introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region, and has been accused of multiple human rights violations. The Guardian reports Kadyrov has endorsed polygamy, compulsory wearing of the hijab for women in public places, and collective punishment for the relatives of those involved in the Islamist underground.

The Daily Mail notes:

Chechen society is strictly conservative, meaning that unlike other cases where relatives or rights activists may put pressure on authorities when a homosexual relative disappears, those suspected are likely to be disowned by their own families.

The Chechen Republic, commonly referred to as Chechnya, is a federal subject of Russia, and falls under Putin’s direct control. In fact, the Russian leader hand-picked and installed Ramzan Kadyrov as president a decade ago.

Indeed, news of the Chechen concentration camps for gays follows a recent ban in Russia making it illegal to distribute any images that depict President Vladimir Putin wearing makeup and implying he is gay.

The Russian leader has been the target of protests both in and out of Russia ever since he launched a brutal crackdown on gays and lesbians. The crackdown has resulted in a wave of violent homophobic attacks currently plaguing Russia.

In fact, ever since the virulently homophobic Putin, with help from the Russian Orthodox Church, pushed through a law effectively outlawing openly gay people, the country’s LGBT community has been plagued by violence.

Yet despite the ugly anti-gay violence in Russia, Putin’s dangerous and cruel anti-gay policies have been celebrated by conservative Christians in the U.S. Recently leading evangelical Franklin Graham praised Putin for his brutal crackdown on homosexuality, and in so doing Graham and other conservative Christians have given their tacit endorsement to the current wave of violent homophobic attacks plaguing Russia.

Bottom line: Muslim dominated Chechnya is detaining, beating, and killing gay men in the world’s first concentration camps since the Holocaust.

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov (Image via kremlin/ru)

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