No End to Chechnya’s Violent Anti-Gay Campaign

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08/31/2021

The Russian LGBT Network has reported that in May 2021, Chechen-speaking men abducted Ibragim Selimkhanov in Moscow and forcibly returned him to Chechnya’s capital Grozny, where authorities interrogated him about gay people in the region. This is the latest chapter in Chechnya’s relentless assault on sexual and gender minorities. In 2017 and 2019, Chechen authorities orchestrated lethal purges of men perceived to be gay or bisexual. The award-winning documentary “Welcome to Chechnya” details the purge and also documents the experience of lesbians, whose horrific ordeals are usually perpetuated by family members. Government critics and other undesirables in Chechnya risk retaliation from a ruthless security apparatus, with scant avenues for recourse. Authorities control virtually all aspects of social life, including politics, religion, academic discourse, and family matters.

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