Media: Chechen gays hunted as terrorism suspects in Chechnya

Chechen police have announced a search for several homosexuals suspected of involvement in the terrorist group “Islamic State” (ISIS), as reported by a source in one of the advocacy organizations which helps evacuate homosexuals, Kavkaz.Realii writes.

According to the publication’s correspondent, in this way the Chechen law enforcement agencies are preventing the evacuation of gays from the republic.

“Literally the other day a young girl was pronounced a terrorist. She ran away from home because she had problems with relatives. It wasn’t to Syria that the girl planned to go, she is actually far from religion,” the source stated.

According to the source, she was caught on surveillance cameras at one of the Russian airports. The human rights activist claims that this proves that she has not left the country.

Another source at a different law enforcement agency confirmed this information. The source added that police are requiring gays’ families to sign statements that their children have left for Syria.

“The policy of the Chechen law enforcement authorities is such that it is easier for them to say immediately that a person has been recruited and has left for Syria. This is most likely intended to prevent people who do not want to live under such conditions from going anywhere,” the correspondent stated.

The source added that “it won’t stop at one report about leaving for Syria”. After this, “all families will have problems”.

Novaya Gazeta reported on mass arrests and killings of gays in Chechnya at the start of April. The media outlet knew of at least three victims. Novaya Gazeta later published an investigation which spoke about the existence of a secret prison for gays in Chechnya. Radio Svoboda learned of a second such prison. At the end of May, Human Rights Watch published a report stating that Chechen Speaker of Parliament Magomed Daudov was involved in the humiliation of the gays held in these prisons. Daudom called the report “cheap slander”. The republic’s authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of persecuting gays. At a meeting in Sochi at the start of May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel drew attention to the situation with homosexuals in Chechnya, asking Russian President Vladimir Putin to deal with the problem. It later became clear that Putin had made an agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron to “follow up on the situation” with gays in Chechnya.

  Chechnya, LGBT, Russia