Chechnya Allegedly Executed 27 Men in Latest Anti-Gay Purge

The unfolding human rights crisis in Chechnya has hit a new and terrifying low with the news that 27 men were rounded up and reportedly killed in January.

Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, which first broke the story of over 100 gay and bisexual men reportedly being detained and tortured in April of this year, has now uncovered alarming evidence that Chechen security forces rounded up and summarily executed 27 men in January. 

On July 9, the paper reported that officials rounded up the individuals — for reasons yet unknown — during raids that began in December of 2016. The detainees were never formally arrested, so no paperwork of their detentions exists.

These men were reportedly executed on January 26 in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital. The bodies of the now named men were placed in what has been described as “hastily dug” graves close to where the executions took place. 

Novaya Gazeta claims it was able to secure the names of the individuals killed during this spate of executions after a source within the Interior Ministry provided the newspaper with a list. Novaya Gazeta attempted to track down every single one of those named individuals, but was unable to do so — and met with substantial fear when questioning people.

An official representative of the Russian LGBT Network told IBTimes UK that, as far as it has been able to corroborate, these reports are true — but that it’s important to state that the list of names doesn’t just include gay people.

“As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true,” the representative explained. “With regards to the sexual orientation of those killed, as far as we know there are homosexual people in this list, but not all of them at all.”

This aligns with other reports stating that while Chechen authorities have seemed particularly preoccupied with attacking gay and bisexual people, they certainly are not the only minority groups to be victimized during the recent clampdown.

Chechnya continues to deny that there is any unlawful persecution of minorities or LGBT people — and denies that gay people even exist in the Republic. An ongoing investigation conducted by Russian authorities has so far been incredibly slow to yield information, with human rights groups concerned that President Vladimir Putin is turning a blind eye to the atrocities to preserve Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s loyalty.

Regarding these latest reports, Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, stated:

We have taken note of [the reports].We have similarly taken note of the denials of this information by Chechen law enforcement bodies. The information is of an anonymous character. It’s unclear what the source of this information is. So this is all I can say for now.

But human rights groups worry that, as with previous calls to investigate, this might be all that Russia’s government will say, at least publicly. There is some evidence that Russia may have called for a halt to any such activities behind the scenes, however. And although it had appeared that the extrajudicial detentions had stopped, reports now suggest that they may have resumed.

To date, U.S. President Donald Trump has not directly addressed the Chechen situation, despite recently meeting with President Vladimir Putin. This is a significant oversight, as Congress has passed a resolution condemning the reported attacks on LGBTQIA persons.

Since this story initially broke in April, there has been a race to collect reports from victims of the purge. Vice published a report in June in which several people claim to have been tortured. The news outlet was also given a tour of one warehouse where the victims allege they were held.

You can watch the report below, but please be advised that it contains accounts and scenes that may be distressing:

As with all reports on the Chechen situation, Novaya Gazeta appears to be acting on the most credible information it has been able to obtain. Going forward, more details will likely be revealed, but it may be a long time before we know the true scale of the alarming events in Chechnya. Regardless, world leaders must do more to force Chechnya and Russia into halting this terrible wave of violence.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

57 comments

Stephanie s
Stephanie s3 months ago

Terrible

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iloshechka A
iloshechka A4 months ago

thanks

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Carl R
Carl R4 months ago

Thanks!!!

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RONALD Walker
RONALD Walker4 months ago

This is a sad story. What little I know about homosexual haters. They are closet faggots! Yes, I said the word. My feeling Putin is a faggot and has homosexual thoughts. So he would not act on his thought. Putin must remove the homosexual around him. To himself safe from homosexual thoughts. Now, most of the people here think I am crazy. You maybe right. Homosexual men and women cause me no trouble at all. As people marrying out side their race? Doesn't cause me any trouble. So I still do what I like to do like going fishing. But faggots like Putin make me sick.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIE4 months ago

Please live and let live.

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mmmm w
mmmm w4 months ago

wow

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Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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heather g
heather g4 months ago

Murderers..... Putin has no time for them either after their teerrorist attacks in Russia.

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David C
David C4 months ago

very sad, awful, horrible

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Irene S
Irene S4 months ago

Horrible!

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