A shocking investigation has revealed that 100 gay men have been kidnapped and detained in the world’s first concentration camp for LGBT people since Nazi Germany.
The highly discriminatory operation has seen three men killed in Chechnya, Russia.
Novaya Gazeta found that Chechen authorities set up several of these homosexual camps where the men are tortured, beaten, and ordered to leave the republic or be killed.
Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told MailOnline:
Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region.
Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.
Worryingly, Chechen council’s Kheda Saratova told Russian radio:
I haven’t had a single request on this issue, but if I did, I wouldn’t even consider it.
In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities, and do everything to make sure that this kind of person does not exist in our society.
Chechnya is a majority-Muslim republic and federal subdivision of Russia in the country’s far south-west, and has been the point of much internal Russian conflict.
Chechen society is extremely conservative and homophobic, meaning those who come out are likely to be disowned by their families.
The current leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, sides heavily with Moscow and Putin and is in denial that gay people exist in Chechnya.
In response to claims he had been detaining homosexuals, a spokesman for infamous warlord Kadyrov said:
You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.
Men in Chechnya lead a healthy lifestyle, practice sports and have only one [sexual] orientation, defined since humankind creation.
If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.
Reports from Russia claim that the men arrested range in age from as young as 15 to 50 years old.
This is Putin’s opportunity to stand up to Kadyrov to investigate how such atrocities can take place and release anyone being held.