Russia: New Anti-Gay Crackdown in Chechnya

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05/08/2019

Police in Chechnya have carried out a new round of unlawful detentions, beatings, and humiliation of men they presume to be gay or bisexual, Human Rights Watch said today. The new abuses come against a backdrop of absolute impunity for the vicious large-scale anti-gay purge in spring 2017. The Russian authorities should carry out an effective investigation into the anti-gay abuses and hold those responsible to account. Human Rights Watch interviewed four men who were detained for between three and 20 days, between December 2018 and February 2019, at the Grozny Internal Affairs Department compound. Police officials there kicked them with booted feet, beat them sticks and polypropylene pipes, and tortured three of the four with electric shocks. One was raped with a stick. The men’s accounts are consistent with a crime report filed on January 29 with Russia’s chief investigative agency by the Russian LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Network, a prominent LGBT rights group, which stated that in December and January, police in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, rounded up and abused 14 men. The report suggested that the true scope of detentions was broader.

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