CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

DEATH. By Justin Moran Thu

Novaya Gazeta alleged that the officials from the predominantly-Muslim republic were rounding up gay men and keeping them in makeshift detention facility and tortured on a daily basis.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the reports, saying that he does "not have any reliable information about any problems" in Chechnya, a Muslim-majority republic of Russia.

The situation has become so grave that the U.S. State Department and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have urged the Russian government to intervene.

According to the Novaya Gazeta report, the sweep began when a Moscow gay rights group began filing requests for demonstrations in Russia's provincial cities. Nine years earlier, the Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that Kadyrov was a "coward armed to the teeth and surrounded by security guards" whom she hoped to see brought to trial.

The allegations that up to 100 men are being detained prompted a protest outside the Russian embassy in London on Wednesday.

"In view of the insult to the centuries-old foundations of Chechen society and the dignity of Chechen men, as well as our faith, we promise that the retribution will overtake true instigators, wherever and whomever they are, without a statute of limitations".

Then on April 1, an explosive report by respected campaigning newspaper Novaya Gazeta claimed the Chechen authorities were attempting a "complete cleansing" of homosexuals.

Novaya Gazeta stresses that the main idea of the resolution "pushes religious fanatics towards massacre of journalists".+.

While Novaya Gazeta has not independently, directly confirmed the existence of camps more and more gay men from Chechnya have spoken up about it.

Dmitry Muratov, Novaya's editor, said on Friday that the resolution was an incitement to violence and that he was anxious about his staff's safety.

On Friday, the former Vice President responded to growing concerns among worldwide governments and human rights groups who have been pressuring the U.S.to take action and address the Chechen crisis with Russian Federation. It could even invite trouble as Chechnya's courts condone hate crimes against homosexuals and homosexuals fleeing from Chechnya's have told stories of police beating and extorting them. In response to growing concerns from foreign governments and human rights organizations, former Vice President Joe Biden called for Trump's administration to condemn Chechnya for reported LGBTQ violence.

The Russian LGBT Network said they had been contacted by around 40 men affected by the round-up after setting up a confidential hotline for them to contact.

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