Chechnya has opened a concentration camp for gay men, an investigation has found.
Around 100 men have been apprehended in the region and put in the first camps for LGBTI people since the Holocaust and Fidel Castro.
Several are believed to have been killed.
A Chechan government spokesperson has denied there were any gay people in the region to detain. They insisted ‘you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic.’. The Kremlin also denied knowledge of a ‘purge’.
However, numerous human rights groups have now allegedly revealed gay men are being held in a concentration camp – former military prisons – to torture them for their ‘crimes’.
Dozens of gay men are being held in Argun, Chechnya.
Russian group LGBT Network said: ‘No national and/or religious traditions and norms can justify kidnapping or killing of a human being.
‘Any references to “traditions” to justify kidnappings and killings are amoral and criminal.
Adding: ‘The Russian LGBT Network is ready to evacuate people.’
Activists behind the reporting say ‘several internment camps’ have been erected in order to kill inmates or force them to promise to leave Chechnya.
One who was able to flee from the former military headquarters claimed they were forced to pay bribes to Chechen police ‘to be left alone’.
Another former inmate has said he was beaten to force them to name other members of the LGBTI community, including being electrocuted in a ‘homemade electric chair‘.
Foreign officials call on Russia to intervene
Foreign ministers from the US, UK and European Union have all urged Russia to urgently intervene.
‘We condemn violence against any individuals based on their sexual orientation or any other basis,’ a US State Department spokesperson said.
‘We urge the Russian government to conduct an independent and credible investigation into the alleged killings and mass arrests, and hold the perpetrators responsible.
‘We were likewise deeply disturbed by local authorities statements that apparently condone and even incite violence against LGBTI persons.’