Recently, Russian officials have begun to look into claims being made that there is a “purge of gay men” in Chechnya. There have been multiple reports claiming that gay men in the region being held in detention centers and even being tortured. These abuses are all part of a campaign against gay men in Chechnya. In this extremely conservative state, homosexuality considered a sin and a “stain on the family honor”. When the leader of Chechnya was asked to speak on behalf of these terrifying reports, he denied that gay people even lived in Chechnya and therefore the claims have to be false. To me, it seems highly probable that these reports are unfortunately true. Many world leaders, including Angela Merkel, are urging Vladimir Putin to investigate, however given Putin’s stance on gay rights issues in the past, I wonder how much will actually be done on his part. Another issue I gathered from reading this article is that Chechnya is very secretive and probably very committed to keeping things quiet.
To me, reading this article from The Guardian was truly horrifying. Just the title alone shook me to my core; “Russia investigates 'gay purge' in Chechnya”. Amnesty International has addressed this issue on their website and their message is clear; this is a severe human rights violation. How can these religiously conservative groups in Chechnya justify these horrific acts? How will we ever find justice, when it is the society as a whole in Chechnya that is stuck in a harshly conservative environment. I hope the United Nations and Amnesty International can help in any way they can, because I doubt Putin will devote as much time to the issue as is required. This is not a joke, and the fact that these human rights violations are happening in a country with as much wealth and power as Russia must be addressed.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chechnya. I pray for the Chechen LGBTQ community, who face so many hardships and pain in a harsh conservative environment. I also pray for the Chechnyan society as a whole. I pray for peace in this region. In time, I hope they can evolve into a more accepting and progressive society, so everyone can live harmoniously.