Gay Pogroms in Russia's Chechnya Reportedly Stopped
17 May, 2017

A list of confirmed names of gay people persecuted in Chechnya has been sent to the Russian Investigative Committee, The Caucasian Knot reported quoting the country's Commissioner for Human Rights, Tatyana Moskalkova. Journalists from Russia's leading independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, which broke the story back in April, compiled the list.

On April 1, "Novaya Gazeta" published an article on the mass detention and killings of Chechen men suspected of homosexuality. Later on, the publication also reported on the "secret prisons" for gay men in this Russian region. In a meeting with President Putin, Ramzan Kadyrov stated that the information in the article was a provocation. Following wave of global uproar, on May 5th, Russian President promised the country's Ombudswoman that he would ask the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General to help her examine the information on the persecutions of gay people in Chechnya.

On May 16, three French LGBT associations appealed to the International Criminal Court with a lawsuit against Ramzan Kadyrov.

Despite wide protest among many foreign LGBT groups, gay pogroms in Chechnya attracted few official condemnations. The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson failed to address the attrocities during his April visit to Moscow. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the only foreign leader confronting Russian President about gay pogroms in person.

After six weeks of international pressure, gay pogroms in Russian region of Chechnya have been reportedly suspended. According to the Russian LGBT Network, the detentions of homosexual suspects have stopped, and some people who were detained during the so-called “second wave” are now released. At the same time, Russian LGBT Network reports that representatives of the local law enforcement agencies contact relatives of the victims & pressure them to sign the “no complaints” statements.

Moreover, according to the Russian LGBT Network, many foreign governments delay visa processing for refugees from Russia's Chechnya:

"We are saddened and perplexed by the fact that while many foreign governments promised to accept the homosexual refugees from Chechnya, we are still facing many bureaucratic complications in obtaining visas for the victims. We call for the EU authorities to acknowledge the seriousness of this matter and to do everything that is possible to save the lives of people," the statement says.

/ Translated by Sofia Fedeczko