May 9, 2019 | Sex & Society

Chechnya still torturing gays, world still doing nothing to stop it

Protest against ChechnyaIn 2017, it was discovered that Chechnya was kidnapping, torturing and even killing gay men. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin "investigated" the claims but found no "evidence" they were true. Governments around the world spoke out against the atrocities in the Russian republic, but did nothing to hold it accountable.
Chechen officials are now once again conducting a campaign of terror against the LGBT community. Human Rights Watch investigators have confirmed a new gay crackdown in Chechnya earlier this year.
HRW has released a report detailing graphic accounts from four victims of government action. The men say police tortured and abused them while in custody, kicking them and beating them with sticks and pipes. Electrical shock was used in at least three of the cases.
“They [police] screamed at me. One of them started kicking me, I dropped to the floor, flat on my stomach,” said ‘Anzor,’ a 29-year-old. "Then they made me kneel on the floor and put metal clips on my thumbs [the wires were hooked to a device delivering electric shocks], he turned the knob [of the device], first slowly and then faster and faster." 
A second man revealed that he was insulted and ordered to share the names of other gay men. He, too, said he was tortured with electric shocks.
"They put me on a chair," he explained, "and started to turn the knob, and from this your hands clench… I can’t describe the pain. This went on for some 15 minutes, with breaks.”
Russian officials are still refusing to act.
"The Russian authorities have shown themselves to be complicit in heinous crimes committed in Chechnya against people believed to be gay or lesbian," wrote Amnesty International. “Two years after reports of a ‘gay purge’ sent shockwaves worldwide, it’s clear that the perpetrators have gone unpunished because of state-sponsored homophobia and impunity for human rights violations in Chechnya.”
“There wasn’t anything remotely resembling an effective investigation into the anti-gay purge of 2017, when Chechen police rounded up and tortured dozens of men they suspected of being gay,” argued Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Impunity for the 2017 anti-gay purge has sanctioned a new wave of torture and humiliation in Chechnya.”
Sadly, this, too, will be ignored by governments around the globe. It is scary to think what will have to happen before world leaders finally act.

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