Ahead of Donald Trump’s much anticipated meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit today, news broke that arrests of gay and bisexual men have resumed in Chechnya.
Enrique Torre Molina of All Out made the allegation, claiming that Chechens have contacted the Russian LGBT Network hotline to report that gay men are once again being rounded up in the Russian-controlled republic.
“Nearly 100 days ago, news broke of Chechnya’s anti-gay purge,” he wrote in a press release. “Over 100 men were hunted down, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured by state authorities, because they were believed to be gay. At least 6 were murdered. Others were returned to their families barely alive, with their captors encouraging relatives to carry out honor killings.”
“The Russian LGBT Network and All Out call on G20 leaders to demand that President Putin order a full and immediate end to the arrest of gay men in Chechnya. And that G20 leaders pressure President Putin to conduct a full, independent and impartial inquiry into the abuses that have already taken place.”
More than a month after the first reports surfaced of an anti-gay purge in Chechnya, Russian president Vladimir Putin approved an investigation into the allegations. Days later, Russia reported that there was nothing amiss in the region.
“My colleagues and I have seen first hand the pain and suffering of those who have survived the horror of illegal arrest and torture,” said Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network. “Russia is failing in its responsibility to allow its own citizens to live in safety and has also failed to hold anyone to account for the appalling abuses that have already taken place. We urge G20 leaders to stand on the right side of history and do their part to help protect innocent civilians in Chechnya.”