2 Killed, 40 Detained in New Gay Purge in Chechnya: Report

At least two people have died and about 40 others have been detained in what has been described as a new purge of gay people in the Russian republic of Chechnya. The new crackdown comes after human-rights monitors found more than 100 gay men were arrested and subjected to torture in the predominantly Muslim region in 2017. Chechen authorities denied the accusations. Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, told reporters Monday the reports are “complete lies and don’t have an ounce of truth in them.” Karimov insisted that no one has been detained in Chechnya on suspicion of being gay. The Russian LGBT Network said in a statement Monday that at least two of the detainees, who have been held since December, have died of torture while in detention. “Widespread detentions, torture, and killings of gay people have resumed in Chechnya,” Igor Kochetkov, program director at the Russian LGBT Network said. “Persecution of men and women suspected of being gay never stopped. It’s only that its scale has been changing.”