Leaders in Chechnya are now threatening journalists who attempt to report on the concentration camps for gay men that have been formed in the Russian republic.
Novaya Gazeta, the publication that first broke the news of gay men being detained and tortured in the region, issued a statement saying it now fears for the safety of its employees.
Two days after news of the concentration camps first made headlines, Chechen authorities, Islamic scholars and public opinion leaders held an emergency meeting at a mosque in the country’s capital, according to Gay Star News. It was there that a resolution was written that included threats to the publication.
“In view of the fact that [Novaya Gazeta] insulted the secular foundations of Chechen society and the dignity of men-Chechens, as well as our faith, we promise that retribution will overtake the true instigators, wherever and whoever they may be, without a statute of limitations,” the resolution reads.
Novaya Gazeta then released a statement responding to the resolution, pointing out that it encourages “religious fanatics to violence against journalists.”
“Silence and inaction in this situation make everyone who is capable of anything done, complicit,” the statement reads. “That is why the Novaya Gazeta continues to work in Chechnya. But we are very aware of the high price we can pay.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden released a statement on Friday denouncing Chechnya’s detention of gay men, saying that he’s “disgusted and appalled” by the reports.
“I hope that the current administration lives up to the promises it has made to advance human rights for everyone by raising this issue directly with Russia’s leaders,” Biden said. “The United States must lead the way to demand an end to these egregious violations of human rights.”
Click here to learn about five things you can do to help gay people in Chechnya today.