An LGBT group has helped 40 men evade Chechnya’s 'gay purge' by evacuating them from region
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The Russian LGBT Network says it has helped 40 men escape Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’ by safely evacuating them from the region.
Pictured, Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic
Earlier this year it was claimed that gay and bisexual men were being rounded up and tortured in concentration-style prison camps by officials in Chechnya - something which has caused outrage in the international community.LGBT rights in Chechnya have been a concern among human rights organisations for a long time - same-sex sexual activity is illegal, with laws in place which can allow the death penalty as punishment
However, since March there has been a growing and widespread anti-gay persecution in the region, which has seen men being secretly rounded up and taken away to be tortured for their “non-traditional orientation”.
Some inmates who have been released from the torture camps have described horrific experiences of violent beatings and being given electric shocks. At least four men are reported to have died in these camps as a result of the extreme beatings and torture inflicted upon them.
Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, has denied any suggestions of a 'gay purge' by claiming no gay people exist in Chechnya.
The communications manager of the Russian LGBT Network - who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons - has said a hotline has been set up so Chechen men can seek help.
Speaking to NPR she said: “The first thing for us to do is, of course, to evacuate them from Chechnya, like, to other parts of Russia.“But we are also working to evacuate them, to relocate them to – out of Russia because for most of them it’s just deadly dangerous to stay in Russia because some of them are already hunted by their relatives outside of Chechnya.”