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Londoners protest against 'unprecedented' anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya

13 April 2017

The paper wrote that "in Chechnya, the command was given for a "prophylactic sweep" and it went as far as real murders", with recent crackdowns having seen more than 100 men arrested and at least three killed. "Homosexuals in Chechnya are treated very harshly and prosecuted daily and they are afraid to talk about it".

A cross-party group of MPs has written to Foreign Minister Murray McCully urging him to condemn violence against gay men in Chechnya.

Russian group LGBT Network told Metro: "No national and/or religious traditions and norms can justify kidnapping or killing of a human being".

On April 11, MP Randall Garrison accused the government of using "symbols and platitudes" instead of calling for an "international investigation" of the arrests and torture. The Chechen Republic is a federal subject of Russian Federation, ruled by authoritarian Ramzan Kadyrov, a close ally of Vladimir Putin's.

Other escapees have claimed they've been tortured with electric currents and have witnessed others beaten to death.

A spokesman for Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied the allegations, claiming that gay people don't exist in the region.

"I'm extremely concerned about these reports that we are hearing from Russian Federation", she said.

They add, "The Russian LGBT Network is ready to evacuate people".

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Now, human rights organizations and survivors report that so-called concentration camps have been set up in Chechnya, torturing gay men and forcing them to leave the country.

Despite an encouraging response from the worldwide community, no investigations into the detention of (perceived) gay men in Chechnya have yet been started, either at a local or federal level.

Despite appeals to the Russian authorities to stop the abuses, no action has been taken, she complained. The newspaper also noted that none of the men detained had been open about their homosexuality in a society where it is still strictly taboo.

Seymour said comments by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov that gay people don't exist were ludicrous and unsafe.

Reports emerged earlier this month that gay people are being targeted in the region, which is part of Russian Federation, but has substantial autonomy.

Alvi Karimov told Interfax news agency: "You can not detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic". Reports suggest that the death toll may be higher as the regime under Ramzan Kadyrov is out for extrajudicial honour killings of gay men in its territory.

"I do really want the LGBTQ community in Russian Federation, including in Chechnya, to know that it has Canada's strong support", she said.

If there were such people in Chechnya, law-enforcement agencies wouldn't need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.

Londoners protest against 'unprecedented' anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya