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Russia: Anti-Gay Purge in Chechnya

Victims of Punitive Round-Ups Still in Danger

Friday 26 May 2017

(New York, May 26, 2017) – Police in Chechnya rounded up, beat, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men in an apparent effort to purge them from Chechen society, Human Rights Watch confirmed in a new report today. Russian federal authorities should ensure their investigation into these egregious human rights violations is effective and capable of holding the Chechen authorities to account. Foreign governments should provide safe sanctuary to the victims, who remain in immediate danger of physical harm as long as they remain in Russia.

“Men subjected to these gay purges have endured a gruesome ordeal in Chechnya,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights program at Human Rights Watch. “The Kremlin has a duty to bring to justice those responsible for the violence and protect all people in Russia, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

The 42-page report, “‘They Have Long Arms and They Can Find Me’: Anti-Gay Purge by Local Authorities in Russia’s Chechen Republic,” is based on first-hand interviews with victims of the campaign against gay men that Chechnya’s law enforcement and security officials conducted in spring, 2017.

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