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Chechnya Activists Detained Delivering 400k Petition Signatures

The group's viral petition demands a "full investigation" into the gay Chechen killings. 

Russian police detained five activists this morning, who were bringing 400k signatures from their Chechnya petition to the Prosecutor General's Office in Moscow. They had organized the delivery for 11 AM alongside the Russian LGBT Network, Avaaz and AllOut, but were arrested together and immediately transported to the Tverskoy police station.

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

The group's petition demands "a full investigation of all the facts about unlawful repression in Chechnya of LGBT population, punishment for the guilty parties and an end to the practice of extra-judicial violence and killings in the republic." They'd barely even left their car this morning to bring this order to the Prosecutor General before getting arrested, according to their update, written today from within the police van.

"We are immensely grateful for your support and will keep you updated," they wrote. "Now, we are asking you to spread the information about our arrest as wide as you can. Please, use your social networks or communicate this info to journalists you know. It is very important."

Related | Short Film Showcases the Dangers Gay Men Face in Chechnya's Genocide

Earlier this week, the Russian LGBT Network successfully saved the lives of around 40 gay men, but the concentration camps are still active with many more prisoners, though an exact number is still unknown. A short film, released by digitalSTAGE, highlights the harrowing realities of life for gay Chechen men, who're being actively arrested, grouped together and beaten while incarcerated.

Click here to sign the detained activists' demand for a thorough investigation into Chechnya's gay genocide.

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Justin Moran