Is Chechnya’s Gay Purge picking up steam again?
While the horrific murdering and torturing of LGBTQ people, and specifically gay men, in the Russian territory never stopped, the reporting of it quieted down for a year and a half. But according to NBC News and locals from the area, the horrible system is starting up again.
Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper that broke the story of the Gay Purge in 2017, also reported on this story.
Apparently, several people have been recently detained in Chechnya on suspicion of being gay.
Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network, which rescued many victims of the Chechen Purge, talked to the Associated Press and shares that late December saw a spike in detentions of men and women. These people were captured under the suspicion that they were gay.
While exact numbers of how many men and women are detained have not been shared yet, a short report is allegedly on the way. That report will supposedly be released on Monday.
In response to the latest news, the Human Rights Campaign released the following statement:
"Nearly two years after reports first surfaced of anti-LGBTQ violence and killings in Chechnya, we are once again hearing disturbing accounts of state-sanctioned detentions and abuse," said Ty Cobb, director of HRC Global. "We have repeatedly called on the Trump-Pence White House to speak out and help bring an end to this persecution, but instead the White House has largely ignored the actions of the Russian-backed regime in Chechnya. Human rights violators in Chechnya must be held accountable and be brought to justice. Lives are hanging in the balance."
And as with the first reports of the Gay Purge, Chechen officials refuse to comment on rumors of a second wind.