On the 11th of April 2017, Reports emerged that the first concentration camp since the Holocaust had opened in Argun, Chechen Republic, Russia. The camp was set up to house over a hundred members..
What is the reason for Ramzan Kadyrov’s crackdown against the LGBT community?
On the 11th of April 2017, Reports emerged that the first concentration camp since the Holocaust had opened in Argun, Chechen Republic, Russia. The camp was set up to house over a hundred members of the “LGBT” community after many members put forth a petition to protest in the capital city of the Chechen republic.
What are the reports coming out of Chechnya?
Svetlana Zakharova from the Russian LGBT network said, “Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region.”
“Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.”
Her organization has set up a hotline to aid those people in distress and try to evacuate them from the area. The hotline has witnessed people on line calling from within the concentration camp, reporting a torture and abuse.
Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch wrote: “For several weeks now, a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya.” She continued: “Law enforcement and security agency officials under control of the ruthless head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, have rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, torturing and humiliating the victims.
“Some of the men have forcibly disappeared. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings. At least three men apparently have died since this brutal campaign began.”
What has the reaction from the Russian government and the Chechen government been?
To put it bluntly, both organizations have denied all allegations of any concentration camps existing and the President of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov has refused to even answer questions on the camps in some interviews. Being a part of the LGBT community in Chechnya poses many problems. To begin with the autonomous region is the only majority Muslim part of the country and the nation itself has a long history of atrocities committed against the community. Secondly, from the reports from Human Rights Watch, Russia’s government has supported all crackdowns against members of the community and have strongly denied rights to those of the community.
This highlights a massive problem in the nation. The allowance of rights might be outside the realms of what is achievable but to witness the ostracizing of the LGBT population is something that the international community must address. Putin will continue to turn a blind eye to the issue but the global human rights watch must intervene if any more evidence arises.