Tatiana Lokshina. Photo: RFE/RL

26 May 2017, 07:32

Tatiana Lokshina: Chechnya arranges raids against gays with tacit consent of Kremlin

Since early 2017, the problem of the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya has become urgent, and the authorities of the republic take brutal punitive measures against suspected LGBT community members with the tacit approval of the Kremlin. This was stated by Tatiana Lokshina, the programme director of human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" (HRW) in Russia, when she commented on the HRW's report released today.

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.

The HRW's report "They have long arms, and they will find me. The raid against gays in Chechnya in the spring of 2017" has been released today, on May 26.

"The report documents the raids against gay organized by the Chechen authorities this spring and is based on interviews with victims of Chechen law enforcers, civil activists and journalists who try to help such people," Tatiana Lokshina told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to her, the HRW's report considers the persecution of gays in Chechnya this spring "in the context of the regime of personal tyranny, built in the republic by Ramzan Kadyrov," who, according to Tatiana Lokshina, "brutally suppresses any manifestations of dissent, disagreement and other undesirable phenomena."

Tatiana Lokshina believes that Ramzan Kadyrov firmly interferes with all aspects of the life of Chechen society, including aspects of outlook, religion and family, with the Kremlin's tacit approval.

"The HRW calls on the federal authorities of the Russian Federation to ensure the thoroughness and effectiveness of investigations into the gay raids in Chechnya with an approach to bringing to justice all officials involved in gross human rights violations in the ChechenRepublic. The international human rights organization also calls on other states to ensure safe asylum for all victims who are in danger of further persecution," stated Tatiana Lokshina.

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

Source: CK correspondent

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