In a video such as this, it makes us wonder why the world isn’t as loving or accepting for who people are.
In a new video created by Human Rights First, selected Russian gay men read personal stories of violence and torture toward abducted gay men in Chechnya’s prison. In a partnership with Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association, the powerful #EyesOnChechnya video has been viewed more than 29K times on Facebook, and we hope the message will continue to spread.
According to Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta who first reported the news, more than 100 men were abducted and tortured in concentration camps. In addition, three gay men were discovered dead, and journalists predict more deaths will most likely occur in the future.
In Russia, homosexuality is prohibited, hence LGBTQ community has been specifically targeted in Chechnya. Furthermore, honor killing (the killing of a relative, especially a girl or woman, who is perceived to have brought dishonor on the family) is accepted in Chechnya, leaving many gays to stay in the closet.
The realization of such abduction and torture was first brought up on April 1st, followed by United Nations condemning such acts, as well as detention, violence and killing of men who have sex with men in this part of the world. U.N. experts stated,
The arrested men are subjected to physical and verbal abuse, torture including with electric shocks, beatings, insults, and humiliations. They are forced to give contact details of other gay people and threatened with having their sexual orientation disclosed to their family and community — a move which could put them at risk of ‘honor killings.’
Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov spoke to the public via a spokesperson earlier in April. Citing that such reports were lies and, “you cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic…If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”
According to Russian news network RT, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also said, “We do not know yet that this data is in some degree confirmed.”
We wanted to show this video to help spread the awareness of abuse and violence toward the LGBTQ community. It shouldn’t happen in our own backyards, and it shouldn’t happen on the other side of the world either. Check out OutrightInternational.org, and sign the petition to speak up about the issue.
Here’s what TV personality Andy Cohen has to say about the matter:
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