The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin has never disguised its disdain for lesbians, gay men, and anyone else it deems to have a “nontraditional” sexual orientation. Yet in a nation with an open disregard for human rights, recent events have taken an even more disturbing turn. A Russian opposition newspaper is reporting that more than 100 men who are gay or perceived to be gay have been arrested and detained in the Russian republic of Chechnya in the past month. It is believed some have been tortured, and at least three men killed. Antigay tensions intensified last month when GayRussia.ru, a gay rights group based in Moscow, applied for permits to hold rallies in the majority-Muslim North Caucasus region. Not surprisingly all were denied, but the requests alone fueled antigay protests. Shortly thereafter, male teenagers and adults began to disappear.
April 22 / Boston Globe