Russian Newspaper Reports Gay Men Go Missing in Chechnya [VIDEO]
Novaya Gazeta, a leading opposition newspaper in Russia and a human rights activist paper company, reported that gay men go missing in Chechnya. The newspaper released headlines that some of the men that were missing were detained, and the fates of the others are still unknown.
The Russian Republic of Chechnya is almost entirely a Muslim area and the Chechen society is extremely homophobic, reports say. In a society where peculiarity and choice of sexual preference are condemned, gay men would get no support and protection from their families as they only see them as a source of shame.
Novaya Gazeta reported that 100 gay men go missing in Chechnya where some have been detained and were speculated to have three of those missing were murdered.
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, the Russia Project Director of the International Crisis Group, said that in the last 10 days, she has received various information from sources about the detention of gay men with the likes ranging from hairdressers to religious and cultural figures, the CNN reports.
Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said that the reports are not for them to solve because it is for the law enforcement to act upon if proven to be true. He also added that it is not on the Kremlin's work agenda.
The Republic of Chechnya underlines a deeply conservative view of sexuality and Alvi Karimov, the spokesman for the Chechen government, said in the statement that the reports from Novaya Gazeta were an absolute lie. He also added that officials cannot detain or harass someone who does not exist in the Republic. Therefore, sending a signal that gay men are not welcome in the Chechen society.
Sokirianskaia said that gay men in Chechnya live in fear and gay groups are at risk of discovery that's why some are fleeing from the Republic. She added that even human rights officials in Chechnya are unsympathetic on gay and LGBT issues.
Activists believe that the murders and arrests started after a gay rights group in the local area tried to get permits to hold and host gay parades, although they know that they would be denied, the Pink News said.
At the time being, gay activists are gathering evidence of the case to make a case in the European Court of Human Rights.