More and more human rights groups are looking to put a stop to the prosecution of LGBT people in Chechnya as the situation becomes increasingly dire. In response to Chechnya’s actions, the United States Holocaust Museum has issued a statement condemning the country for their treatment of the LGBT community.
“The Holocaust teaches us what can happen when state-sponsored, group-targeted violence is allowed to go unchecked,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “The reports about the targeting of LGBT persons in Chechnya combined with statements from Chechen officials seemingly endorsing violence are cause for great concern. Both the Chechen and Russian governments need to investigate these allegations and ensure the safety of LGBT populations within the Russian Federation.”
According to the United Nations Human Rights, men that are perceived to be gay or bisexual are being abducted by Chechen militia and local security since March. Many of the men are subjected to violence such as electric shocks, insults and beatings, many of which takes place at an unofficial detention center near the city of Argun, a town of nearly 30,000 near the center of the Chechen Republic.
According to a press release from the Holocaust Museum, homosexuals were subjected to similar treatment during the Holocaust — an estimated 100,000 men were arrested for their sexuality, which was deemed as “a sort of ‘contagion’ that weakened society and did not contribute to the growth of the ‘Aryan’ population.”
The United Nations Human Rights also released a statement calling for the release of arrested Chechen gay men, as well as a cease to the mistreatment of LGBT people in the country.
“We call on the authorities to proceed with the immediate release of everyone unlawfully detained in the Republic of Chechnya on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into all suspected cases of abductions, unlawful detention, torture and unlawful killing, and to ensure that all those involved in such acts are held to account, and that victims are provided with effective remedy,” the statement read.
If you want to help gay men flee Chechnya, you can participate in this Facebook fundraiser here.