Activists: Chechen Authorities Order Families to Kill LGBT Family Members, Also Pay Ransoms

According to campaigners, families in Chechnya are being ordered to kill their LGBT relatives, with authorities also demanding money for the release of detained LGBT relatives.

Russian campaigners have told The Daily Beast that Chechen authorities have ordered people to kill LGBT members of their own families, and have demanded ransoms for the release of detained LGBT relatives.

According to reports, at least 40 people have been arrested in the last two to three weeks, many of them tortured, in a new crackdown against LGBT people in Chechnya. Two gay men have reportedly died following torture.

“Chechen authorities demanded that relatives punish their gay family members by executing them,” one of the St. Petersburg volunteers for the Russian LGBT Network, who did not wish to be named, told The Daily Beast. “Several people who managed to escape have been raped with police clubs and tortured with electricity.”

The detentions were reportedly carried out by law enforcement officers in the southern city of Argun.

Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, told reporters Monday the reports are “complete lies and don’t have an ounce of truth in them.”

Svetlana Gannushkina, a prominent human rights defender, told The Daily Beast that on a recent afternoon she had received phone calls from a Chechen family, asking her to help an arrested male relative.

Gannushkina is a former member of the presidential Council of Civil Society and Human Rights in Moscow. “People in Chechnya believe that I can make a few phone calls and save their loved ones. This family asked me to help after police had arrested their relative and demanded one million rubles ($15,090) from them, otherwise the entire republic would know that they had a gay family member; and they said they would kill their boy. So there were two threats.”

by Anna Nemtsova
Source – The Daily Beast