Amnesty International, June 9 2017
The response of the Chechen authorities was to claim that gay men do not exist – even as they defended killing them in the name of “honour”.
The aggressive homophobia of the Chechen authorities is replicated throughout society, so that gay men have to hide their identities even from their families and closest friends for fear of being attacked and killed.
One man told Amnesty International that he knew of a gay man who was shot by his relatives and not given a burial. “For a Muslim, having no funeral is particularly hard. It’s as if this person has never existed, that no-one has the right to remember him.”
But gay Chechens do exist. They are real, and they are in desperate need of real help.
Since the story broke, Amnesty International activists from all over the world been coming together in defiance of the authorities’ senseless denials, to express their support and solidarity with gay people in Chechnya.
Last week we handed in more than half a million signatures to Russian embassies around the world, demanding an end to this horrifying persecution and a proper investigation into the allegations.