According to reports by several LGBTQ international human rights watchdogs, gay men are now being imprisoned and tortured in concentration camps mirroring those used by Hitler during World War II. Gay men held in these camps are subjected to electric shocks and beaten to death, which are some of the methods used in extreme conversion therapy cases all over the world. Thus far, 100 gay men have been detained and three killed, according to a report by Novoya Gazeta.
Chechnya’s President Razman Kadyrov, a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, allegedly ordered the establishment of camps and has been alleged to have advocated for extrajudicial killings of gay men.
In a 2017 article, the BBC reported that:
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov maintains that there are no homosexuals in the republic. But an investigation by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper last year found that members of Chechnya’s LGBT community were regularly beaten and tortured. Some, it alleged, had even been killed.
Mr Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov dismissed the allegations, telling the Interfax news agency: “Even if such people existed in Chechnya, our law enforcement agencies would not need to bother with them, because their own relatives would simply send them to a place from which they would never return.”
The situation in Chechnya has even prompted members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which covers the former Soviet Union, Europe, and North America, to urge Russia to address the problem. As reported by the Human Rights Watch:
Fifteen governments in Europe and North America have taken a rare but important step to press Russia to end serious human rights violations and abuses in Chechnya.
Over the last 20 months, there have been “credible reports…(of) alleged worrying actions taken by Chechen authorities against persons based on their perceived or actual sexual orientation or gender identity as well as human rights defenders, lawyers, independent media, civil society organisations and others,” the countries said in a joint statement. They highlighted recent attacks on Memorial, the leading Russian rights group, and the arrest of Oyub Titiev, Chechnya director of Memorial by local authorities. Russia has been unwilling or unable to uphold its OSCE commitments and to address these concerns raised repeatedly at the highest OSCE Permanent Council level, the governments said.