There are reports of gay genocide in the Russian republic of Chechnya, located in the North Caucasus region.
On Friday, the U.S. State Department said it was concerned by reports of detentions and deaths of LGBT individuals.
“We are increasingly concerned about the situation in the Republic of Chechnya, where there have been numerous credible reports indicating the detention of at least 100 men on the basis of their sexual orientation,” reads a press release by acting U.S. spokesman Mark C. Toner. “Some reports indicate many of those arrested have been tortured, in some cases leading to death. We categorically condemn the persecution of individuals based on their sexual orientation or any other basis.”
Prior to the State Department’s statement, OutRight Action International condemned the situation and called for a stop to the “killings and persecution of gays in Chechnya.”
“The perpetrators of this malicious campaign must be held accountable for the systematic detention, torture and killings of innocent men in Chechnya,” said Jessica Stern, executive director of OutRight Action International. “No government should get away with such wanton human rights violations.”
Stern’s group cited reports in Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta of more than 100 men, sources say, who have been arbitrarily detained and three who have been executed for “non-traditional” sexual orientation.
A former Soviet satellite nation located in the north caucasus region, Chechnya claims to be a republic independent of Moscow rule. However, there is no entry for Chechnya in the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook list of countries.
Ramzan Kadyrov leads Chechnya, according to Wikipedia. In its statement of concern, the U.S. urged Russian officials to speak out.
“We are deeply disturbed by recent public statements by Chechen authorities that condone and incite violence against LGBTI persons,” said the State Department. “We urge Russian federal authorities to speak out against such practices, take steps to ensure the release of anyone wrongfully detained, conduct an independent and credible investigation into these, reports and hold any perpetrators responsible.”
If you want to help gay men flee Chechnya, you can participate in this Facebook fundraiser here.