Today Pride in Diversity supporters, and our friends, gathered at Harrogate’s cenotaph to support the LGBT men in Chechnya who are being held in concentration camp-style prisons. We also met to condemn the acts, and write to our Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and ask him to pass on our condemnation to the Russian Federation Government.
Russian newspapers and human rights groups report that more than 100 gay men have been detained “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such” as part of a purge. Several people were also reportedly feared dead following violent raids.
In a chilling response, a Chechen government spokesperson denied that there are any gay people to detain, insisting that “you can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic”. The Kremlin denied any knowledge of a purge.
But reports have since emerged that the men arrested are being kept in horrific concentration camp prisons, where violent abuse and torture is common.