Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Chechnya’s Anti-Gay Pogrom; New York Times, May 3, 2017

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, New York Times; 

Chechnya’s Anti-Gay Pogrom


"According to the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, more than 100 gay men were rounded up by the police and brutalized in secret prisons, and at least three of them were killed. Many remain in detention.

In fear and desperation, 75 people called in to the Russian LGBT Network’s Chechnya hotline. Of these, 52 said they had been victims of the recent violence, and 30 fled to Moscow where they received help from L.G.B.T. activists...

“Some think they are sadists and we are simply another social group that they are terrorizing,” a Chechen gay man told me, “but in fact, it is part of their new ideology of a ‘pure nation.’ ”

By promoting nationalism and traditionalism, Mr. Kadyrov tries to prove to Chechens that their republic now has more autonomy than separatist leaders ever dreamed of; and this justifies his strong pro-Putin position. But his appeal to tradition is self-serving and spurious. Until now, Chechnya never had any record of organized violence against gays."

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