Chechen Activists Help Gay People Flee Persecution

 Activists are helping gay people flee Chechnya amid arrests and killings on the basis of their sexual orientation.

According to LGBT Network, a rights group, 40 people were detained and two were tortured to death. They believe this is linked to the 2017 persecutions where dozens of gay men were kidnapped and tortured by Chechen authorities.

Chechen officials have denied these allegations, but also say homosexuality doesn’t have a place in Chechnya and that there are no gay people living there. LGBT Network said the gay purge involves both men and women this time, according to ABC News. From the people they’ve helped escape, they gathered that people have been raped and beaten.

The U.S. State Department said the reports were credible, and called on Russia to “live up to its international obligations [and] its own constitution.”