40 Gay Men Have Been Rescued From Chechnya's Concentration Camps

Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

 

A recent intervention from the Russian LGBT Network has saved the lives of "around 40 people," NPR reports. 

Public radio's David Greene spoke with an anonymous representative of the Network about how they've stepped in to successfully rescue and evacuate as many gay men as possible from the Russian Republic. They've set up a hotline that LGBTQ people in need of help can call.

Related | Chechen Authorities Issue Ultimatum to Parents: Kill Your Gay Children or We Will

"The first thing for us to do is, of course, to evacuate them from Chechnya, like, to other parts of Russia,” the representative said. “But we are also working to evacuate them, to relocate them to—out of Russia because for most of them it’s just deadly dangerous to stay in Russia because some of them are already hunted by their relatives outside of Chechnya.”

Gay men are reportedly being hunted by their own families outside of concentration camps, thanks to a government order from Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov hoping to kill all gay people in the country by Ramadan on May 26, according to Pink News.

Related | Chechen President Reportedly Wants Gays 'Eliminated' by Ramadan

While hunting continues across the region and country, being trapped in one of the concentration camps is by far the worst place to be. The Russian LGBT Network representative said, "They're telling us that they are beaten. Sometimes some people are beaten to death. And also people are saying that they're tortured with electric current, they are not fed properly and they don't have any water."

Unsurprisingly, Putin and the government of greater Russia have not stepped in to help the cause, even though at least four men have reportedly died. "The Russian government obviously doesn't provide any support to any LGBT organizations. We try to report to them, but they usually ignore us. And what we want from them right now is to have appropriate investigation of this situation."

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