Chechnya opens concentration camps for gays

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Gay men arrested in a ‘purge’ in the Russian region of Chechnya are reportedly held in jails the conditions in which are quite similar to the Nazi camps. Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained for ‘non-traditional orientation or a suspicion of such’. In a chilling response, a Chechen government spokesperson said there were no gay people in Chechnya and there had never been ones, so there was nobody to chase. But reports have since emerged that the men arrested are being kept in horrific concentration camp prisons, where violent abuse and torture are a usual thing. One man who was released from the camp told the newspaper that he was subjected to violent “interrogations” at the camp, as Chechen officials attempted to get him to confess the names and locations of more gay men. The officials also seized his mobile phone, targeting his network of contacts regardless of whether they were gay or not. The camp was reportedly set up via Chechen forces in a former military headquarters in the town. The newspaper reports allegations that the Speaker of the Parliament of Chechnya was among officials to visit the site, though the claims have not been substantiated. The detainees face electric shock torture and violent beatings, while some of them have been held to ransom and used to extort their families.

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