Gender & Sexuality International WSA

WSA Statement on the Atrocities Committed in Chechnya

WSA Statement on the Atrocities Committed in Chechnya

April 13, 2017

According to multiple news publications such as the Guardian[1] and the BBC[2], the Chechen police have began to round up suspected gay men and put them in a concentration camp where they are beaten, tortured, and murdered. So far 3 men have been reported dead[3] in these horrible acts of state repression, but more are expected to have been killed.

The men that are let loose from the concentration camp are released with the expectation that their family will murder them in a so called “honor killing”.   This is corroborated by the fact that according to Amnesty International, “honor killings” are still prevalent in Chechnya. [4]

Alvi Karimov a Chechen state spokesperson said that the reports are “absolute lies and disinformation”. He claims this is because there are no gay people in Chechnya, stating that“You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic”.

Two events have been thought to have led to this repression according to the Novaya Gazeta article. In late February 2017, Chechen police detained a man in connection to drugs and discovered gay porn on his cell phone, as well as phone contacts for other gay men in the area.  The first wave of arrests and state-sponsored murders was thought to have happened shortly after his arrest in response.

The second wave of repression came in response to activism on the part, which is a Queer advocacy group that had been sending requests for permission to hold pride parades across Russia.  They send the the letters the group received denying permission to hold the parades to the European Court of Human rights.  The group avoided Chechnya when sending the requests, but in spite of this there were major protests across Chechnya. In response the Chechen police performed what they termed as a “preventative sweep operation”.[5]

Attitudes about queer people in Russia are very reactionary, with 41% of Russians saying that the government “should persecute people with untraditional sexual preferences in order to exterminate the phenomenon”.[6]  This is up from previous decades, as the trend seems to be towards more bigotry and discrimination.

Workers’ Solidarity Alliance is outraged, abhorred, shocked, and disgusted by these egregious human rights violations.  We stand in solidarity with the victims of these atrocities and mourn these horrendous losses.

Long live Queer Liberation!

Long live the social revolution!


Workers’ Solidarity Alliance




[3] Novaya Gazeta article that broke the story




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