Police in Chechnya are reportedly telling parents to kill their gay children, or else they’ll murder them themselves.
As news of anti-gay purges in the region spreads, including concentration camps for alleged homosexuals, reports from escapees paint a harrowing picture. One victim, who requested anonymity, told France24 that families of gay men are being told “sort it out” or the state will intervene.
“We’ve always been persecuted, but never like this,” he said. “Now they arrest everyone. They kill people, they do whatever they want. They tell the parents to kill their child. They say ’Either you do it, or we will.’ They call it ’cleaning your honor with blood.'”
The man recounted how a fellow detainee was tortured for two weeks before his family was summoned. “The police said to them: ’Your son is a homosexual. Sort it out or we’ll do it ourselves.'” Other survivors have shared accounts of being strapped to homemade electric chairs to give up names, and being forced to insert bottles into their rectums.
Demonstrations against the purge have been held in London, New York and even St. Petersburg, where 10 protestors were arrested near Anichkov Bridge.
To date, the Chechan government has denied such camps exist—or even the existence of LGBT people. “You can’t detain and repress people who simply don’t exist in the republic.” Despite that claim, President Ramzan Kadyrov has sworn to eliminate the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan, which begins May 26.
The Rainbow Railroad is raising funds to help at-risk LGBT people get out of the region. You can make a donation on their website.