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.
On 5 June, North Caucasian media outlet Caucasian Knot published a story of a young Daghestani man, who claims that Russian security forces, through blackmail, tried to recruit him to work for them in Syria.
In the North Caucasus, queer people often feel the need to hide their sexual orientation, even fearing for their lives. Many move to other parts of Russia, to avoid the pressures of society and to live in relative freedom. OC Media spoke to three queer Daghestanis about life as a queer person from Daghestan, and coming out to friends and family. Their names have been changed.
Authorities in Chechnya have found no evidence of oppression of queer men in the republic, Russian news agency Interfax reported, quoting Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov. The Ministry also intends to sue Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper which broke the story, for ‘spreading non–fact-checked information’, he said.
News of this April’s mass detentions, arrests, and murders of Chechnya’s gay and bisexual population has spread around the globe. While Chechen and federal authorities categorically deny all reports of this persecution, the mass media is filled with stories of men who managed to flee Chechnya. These events have pushed the Chechen people to contemplate the unstable place of their nation in the world.