The Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov has hinted that the disappearance of singer Zelimkhan ‘Zelim’ Bakayev was the doing of his own family. Kadyrov made the remarks during a government meeting in Grozny broadcasted by the state-run Grozny TV on 17 January.
International queer rights group All Out, together with the Russian LGBT Network, have launched an online campaign urging Russian authorities to investigate the disappearance of Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakayev. #JusticeForZelim launched on 8 January — five months after his disappearance.
Russian investigative bodies are not properly investigating the campaign of persecution against queer people in Chechnya, Russian rights activists announced during a press conference on 16 October in Moscow. The activists have been assisting queer Chechens flee the republic.
Despite reports of violence and discrimination against queer people often hitting the news, for Wagdy (Egypt), Riri (Azerbaijan), and Misha (Nigeria), Georgia represents a safe place where they can finally be themselves. While some find a new life in Georgia free from fear, the country’s opaque asylum procedures threaten to send some of them back, their presence deemed ‘contradictory to the interests of the country’.
An unconfirmed number of queer people were detained and faced humiliating treatment by police in Baku last week, according to Azerbaijani queer rights groups. The police claim that the raids were conducted to crack down on prostitution.
Security forces in Chechnya have a list of local celebrities suspected of being queer, according to a man who spent more than 10 days in a secret prison there. [Read more…]
Authorities in a number of cities in Krasnodar Krai have rejected a request to hold queer pride parades and street rallies. A number of local queer rights activists have been critical of the request, arguing that it could jeopardise their work.
The Russian LGBT Network has released witness testimonies from a number of queer people caught up in the systematic persecution of queer people in Chechnya. According to a report released by the group on 31 July, 64 people were evacuated from Chechnya over the last four months by the group, and 130 residents of the North Caucasus have appealed for help. The persecutions are still ongoing, the group says.
Twenty-seven Europeans were executed en masse in a single night earlier this year. The lack of international reaction to this reveals not only what’s wrong with humanity, but even more acutely — the media.