In 2017, dozens of gay people in Chechnya, Russia were reportedly detained and beaten in an effort by the government to rid Chechnya of all of its queer population. As of January, the Russian LGBT Network believes that since December, 40 people have been imprisoned and at least two people have died of torture. The Moscow Times reported that “between 10 and 20 gay men and women had been killed in Chechnya in the past month.” Contrary to all of this, the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has said that this latest report is “complete lies” and has denies all allegations of human rights violations. Although when asked, the government of Chechnya and Mr. Kadyrov have repeatedly stated that their country has no homosexual population. Despite this, dozens of individuals have come forward to talk about their experiences being tortured for their sexuality by the government. The leader of Russian LGBT Network, Igor Kochetkov told the BBC, “We know of around 40 people who have been detained, but it may be more.” Kochetkov also said, “Persecution of men and women suspected of being gay never stopped. It’s only that its scale has been changing.” This may very well be the biggest human rights violation that no one knows about. For more information on how to help those affected by this, please look at RusaLGBT or the Russian LGBT Network.
By – Eliana Sauer