Rally against persecution of gays in Chechnya. Photo: RFE/RL

22 May 2017, 12:12

"Novaya Gazeta" describes first results of check of information about victims of anti-gay campaign in Chechnya

The pre-investigation check of the facts of persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya has become a real achievement on the way to investigate cruel repressions in the republic, the "Novaya Gazeta" reports. According to the edition, there is a split among the local law enforcers: while some of them hand over lists of prisoners of "secret prisons", the others put pressure on relatives of the victims.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on April 1, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported about mass detentions in Chechnya of men suspected of unconventional sexual orientation. Later, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported with reference to gays persecuted in Chechnya that in Argun, a "secret prison" had been arranged for people with unconventional sexual orientation. According to the "Radio Liberty", another similar prison, where members of sexual minorities are beaten and humiliated, is located in the Chechen village of Tsotsi-Yurt.

In the article "Panic and sabotage in Chechnya" publiched today, its author Elena Milashina notes that the pre-investigation check has caused a great panic in Chechnya, and despite the promise of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov to facilitate verification, in fact, there is an open sabotage from the side of Chechen law enforcers.

According to the "Novaya Gazeta", policemen refused to take part in the investigating actions, ignored the summons and came to the investigator only after the threat of forced delivery. They denied the events described in the newspaper's publications.

Elena Milashina notes that the Chechen policemen not only carry out criminal orders, but also commit incredibly courageous actions. Thus, according to the "Novaya Gazeta", at least in one secret prison, there were law enforcers who drafted and handed over to the special services the lists of all citizens illegally kept at that prison on suspicion of homosexual orientation.

The pre-investigation check of the facts of mass persecution of citizens in Chechnya was sanctioned by the federal centre against the Chechen authorities and law enforcement agencies for the first time in all 10 years of the Ramzan Kadyrov's ruling, the "Novaya Gazeta" reports. According to the edition, in that sense, the above pre-investigation check is "a real achievement of the journalistic and human rights community, for many years raising the topic of cruel repressions in Chechnya."

The "Novaya Gazeta" also reported that it had passed on to the ICRF the new information on four residents of Chechnya, who suffered from the anti-gay campaign. Three of them were killed in connection with suspicion of homosexual orientation, including a fighter of the National Guard of Russia.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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