Chechen pop singer Zelim Bakaev, who is feared to have fallen victim to Chechnya’s anti-gay purge, has been missing for three months.
LGBT refugees who were spared Chechnya’s anti-LGBT crackdown have found that they’re not even safe in the West.
The Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper released the names of 27 men, ages 18 to 33, who allegedly were killed in the recent anti-gay crackdown. Early accounts of the homophobic purge had put the death toll at three fatalities or more.
After Ramadan ended on June 24, Chechnya again started arresting its LGBT citizens, says Igor Kochetkov of the Russia LGBT Network. About 100 sexual minorities were reportedly arrested in the spring crackdown, and apparently another 10 have been detained since mid-June.
Russia is ramping up its opposition to LGBTI advocates seeking an end to human rights abuses in Chechnya. It has arrested protesters in Moscow and issued a formal statement denying that 100 gay Chechens were arrested and tortured in secret detention sites.
LGBT people aren’t the only ones who are at risk of official violence in Chechnya. Chechen leaders have issued threats against journalists who reported the mass arrests and torture of men in Chechnya who were suspected of being gay.
The Russian republic of Chechnya has reportedly sent gay men that it arrested last week to secret prisons described as “concentration camps.”
Russian officials say they are investigating the mass arrests of LGBT people widely reported in Chechnya, but the official response leaves innocent people in jeopardy, Human Rights Watch says.
Authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have reportedly detained more than 100 people suspected of being homosexuals. At least three were killed in the roundup and many more are believed to have died.