Russia asked to end alleged killings of gays in Chechnya


Di Ieso

Russian Federation must investigate reports by human rights groups that dozens of men are being held and tortured in Chechnya because they are believed to be gay, the rights arm of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said on Friday.

Three men are reported to have been killed by their captors, according to Amnesty, but the group fears there could be more.

A spokesman for the Russian republic's strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, denied the reports and said that no one in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic was homosexual.

Svetlana Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian LGBT network, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone that "such campaigning against homosexual men is unprecedented in Russia".

It is believed inmates have been tortured with electric currents and beaten by guards trying to identify other members of the gay community in the region.

We urgently need your help to call out the Chechen government on the persecution of people who are, as they put it, of "non-traditional orientation" - and urge immediate action to ensure their safety.

His spokesman told Interfax News Agency: "You can not arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic".

In response to the allegations, a Chechen official denied LGBT people exist in the region.

Chechnya allegedly created the gay camps after a Russian LGBT group,, tried secure a permit to host a gay rights demonstrations in the capital city of Chechnya, Grozny.

The Guardian report also says that a spokesperson for the region's interior ministry called the report "an April fool's joke" in a statement to the Russian newspaper RBC.

A report by Pink News which included an interview with Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch, revealed claims the gay men released from the concentration camps in Chechnya were "barely alive" after sustaining frequent and severe beatings.

"You can not arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic", Kadyrov spokesman Alvi Karimov told the Russian news agency Interfax.

"If there were such people in Chechnya", he said, "their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning".

Reminds Russia of its worldwide human rights obligations which require them to protect citizens. Chechnya's head of human rights, Kheda Saratova, seemed to insinuate the same thing recently by saying, "Even if such a (gay) person is killed by his relatives, [family members] will not disclose it, and law enforcement agencies will react with understanding".

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