Fed up with a reportedly insincere investigation on gay persecutions in Chechnya, a Russian newspaper has revealed a list of men who were allegedly killed in a gay purge.
Novaya Gazeta, the Russian publication that first broke the Chechnya story, published the names of 27 perceived gay and bisexual men they believe were killed in Grozny on January 26. They were reportedly arrested in December 2016 and killed without any formal charges.
"According to our information, the detainees were shot that night and were taken to various cemeteries, including Christian, and buried in hastily dug graves," the publication wrote, translated from Russian to English. The information comes from a source in the Interior Ministry.
The murdered Chechens were reportedly shot in the night between January 25 and 26. Journalists were not able to locate any of the persons, stating that anyone they questioned responded with “incredible fear.”
They published the names out of concern for the investigation, believing it was not carried out with sincerity.
“We are publishing these facts because the state represented by authorized law enforcement agencies did not leave us any choice,” they wrote. “That is why we publish the list of those who, according to our information, were victims of the worst possible extrajudicial executions in Grozny.“
Not all of the men are necessarily gay, The Russian LGBT Network told International Business Times. The network has been working on evacuating gay and bisexual Chechens from the country, helping at least 40 so far.
“As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true,” they said. “With regards to the sexual orientation of those killed, as far as we know there are homosexual people in this list, but not all of them at all.”
The Gazeta gave the Investigative Committee of Russia evidence of the victim’s personal data and pointed to forensic evidence, insisting that their facts must be verified.
Chechen police and officials have denied the persecutions, including Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. His spokesperson said, “you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic.”
See the list of names in Russian on Novaya Gazeta’s website NovayaGazeta.ru.