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‘Chechnya has started rounding up gay men again in the last 72 hours’

‘Chechnya has started rounding up gay men again in the last 72 hours’

Ramzan Kadyrov is the Head of Chechnya's movement

The Russian LGBT Network believes authorities in Chechnya have started to round up gay men again.

The group says it has received more calls from Chechnya in the last 72 hours. And it says they contained credible evidence that arrests are happening again.

It has been over three months since the persecution of more than 100 gay men began.

State Authorities hunted down, arrested, and tortured men because of their sexuality. Many were reportedly incarcerated in concentration camps.

In May the Human Rights Campaign published a detailed 42-page report on the persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

The report has first-hand interviews with six former detainees and others affected by the anti-gay purge.

Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied that the purges have taken place. A spokesperson claimed in April that reports were ‘absolute lies and disinformation’ and there were no gay men in Chechnya.

Former detainees gave harrowing accounts of their treatment in the report.

‘It was like a chain. They get one person, go through his phone, torture him, make him name some others… In the place where I was held, we were four [gay men] at first, but several days later we were already 20.’

Global leaders gather in Poland

The reports of new arrests come as the G20 summit takes place in Germany.

The leaders of the world’s most powerful nations are gathered in Hamburg.

LGBTI campaign organisation All Out and the Russian LGBT Network are calling on G20 leaders to tell Putin to end the abuses.

Matt Beard, executive director of All Out said:

‘It is now time for world leaders to step up to the plate. They should send Putin a firm and unequivocal message that human rights violations against the LGBT community in Chechnya must end immediately.’

Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network describes how his network sees the ‘first hand the pain and suffering’ those who have survived the ‘horrors’ are facing.

‘Russia is failing in its responsibility to allow its own citizens to live in safety and has also failed to hold anyone to account for the appalling abuses that have already taken place.

‘We urge G20 leaders to stand on the right side of history and do their part to help protect innocent civilians in Chechnya.’

American President Donald Trump and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin met for the first time today. The US based LGBT organisation GLAAD focused their attention on the meeting and criticised Donald Trump for not even acknowledging what was happening about Chechnya yet.

Read more about the key figures implicated by the Human Rights Campaign’s report.