Chechen men are reporting abuse, arrests and torture by government officials

Chechen men are reporting abuse, arrests and torture by government officials

"When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict", she said.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region governed by Ramzan Kadyrov, who is reportedly close with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"My auto got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint and they asked me for my documents", said the man, who asked to be identified as "Ahmed".

Novaya Gazeta found that police held the men for periods ranging from one day to several weeks, mainly at an unofficial detention centre near Argun, and sometimes "outed" them to relatives who were encouraged to carry out "honour killings".

While casual homophobia is common in Russian Federation, the problem is particularly acute in conservative Chechnya, where homosexuality is taboo and seen in many families as a moral failing that should be punished by death.

Novaya Gazeta, the paper that first reported the kidnappings and torture, said that Chechen clergy leaders and public figures passed a resolution calling the reports "absolute lies and slander" and urging "every sensible person to fight the spread of such baseness and provocation in all possible ways", adding later that these ways should be "lawful".

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Amid mounting reports that gay men in Chechnya are being arrested and killed, gay Chechen activists have stepped forward to share stories from the former Soviet republic. Chechnya's LGBTQ "purge" is said to be on the agenda for the meeting. The Guardian reports that Thursday saw a protest of up to 15,000 people outside a mosque in Chechnya's capital city, Grozny. It is believed that inside these camps, gay men are forced to endure torturous abuse. Human Rights Watch has criticized the Kremlin for its weak response to the news out of Chechnya, as well as its own tolerance for anti-LGBT violence and persecution in Russian Federation. Almost 20 people at risk have already moved to Moscow, she told AFP.

"By helping me, the Network has handed me a reprieve - but they'll find me in the end", he says quietly.

The UN called on all men detained in the purge to be released and for Russian authorities to condemn official statements inciting hatred and violence.

As news continues to emerge regarding the alleged internment, abuse, and killing of gay men in Chechnya, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, former SC governor Nikki Haley, has released a statement calling out such actions as a violation of human rights.

Ahmed is one of the two men interviewed who have escaped Chechyna's concentration camps for men suspected of being homosexuals.

"We are increasingly concerned about the situation in the Republic of Chechnya, where there have been numerous credible reports indicating the detention of at least 100 men on the basis of their sexual orientation", State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said. The letter came in advance of today's thematic hearing on human rights at the U.N. Security Council. Chechnya's prosecutor's office on Monday said it was opening an investigation into the allegations.

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