Queer women in Russia’s North Caucasus face attempts to ‘cure’ them, beatings, rape, forced marriages, and murder, according to a report interviewing a number of queer women from the region. While some gay men have been able to flee, the report said women were less able to do so as their money, movement, careers, and private lives were controlled by male ‘guardians’.
At least two people have been tortured to death and 40 detained in a new wave of state persecutions of queer people in the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Russian activists say.
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.