The organizers of the festival of documentary films "Artdocfest". Photo by the press service of the festival

05 April 2021, 17:16

"Novaya Gazeta" reports threats to "Artdocfest" organizers because of film about Chechen gay

Chechnya's representative has demanded from the organizers of the festival of documentary films "Artdocfest" to remove the film about a Chechen gay from screening under a threat of "serious consequences," the "Novaya Gazeta" newspaper has reported.

On April 4, a certain Suliman came to the "Artdocfest" in Moscow and demanded to remove the film "Quiet Voice" from screening, promising to involve "an MP or a power official" in solving the issue. "They are dissatisfied in Chechnya. Should the film be shown, serious consequences will follow," the "Novaya Gazeta" has quoted the festival organizers as saying.

The "Quiet Voice" documentary is a story about a young athlete named Khawadj. His brother finds out that he is gay and decides to kill him. Khawadj has to flee to Belgium.

The organizers have explained that the festival programme was approved by the Russian Ministry of Culture, and the tickets have been sold out; therefore, the film can't be removed from screening. Suliman said that the film "violates Chechens' rights" and offends their mentality, since there are "no gays" in Chechnya.

Before the festival, the director of the film "Quiet Voice" Valerik received threats in social networks to "deprive him of his voice" same as the film hero.

The administration of the "Lendoc" Studio has removed "Artdocfest" from the poster "in order to avoid provocations and closure of the cultural centre", but the police came with a check anyway.

The "Caucasian Knot" has also reported that in July 2020, the "Meduza" spoke about a new tactic of persecuting gays in Chechnya. At least ten gays have been killed in Chechnya over the past three years, said Olga Baranova, an employee of the Moscow Community Centre.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 5, 2021 at 10:34 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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