Reports suggest brutal suppression of gay people in Chechnya

Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published a series of reports alleging that men are being rounded up, imprisoned, and in some cases killed “on suspicion… of nontraditional sexual orientation” in the Chechen Republic.

Human Rights Watch’s Russian director Tanya Lokshina told The Economist that “the number of sources and the consistency of the stories leaves us with no doubt that these devastating developments have indeed occurred.” Although the reports have not been independently verified, some believe the situation could be much worse than has been detailed thus far.

Chechnya is ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov, a spokesman for whom told Novaya Gazeta that the claims of a campaign of oppression of gay people are impossible because there are no gay people in the country: “If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs would not need to do anything with them because their relatives would have sent them to a place from which they could never return.”

Read more reporting from the Economist.