A detention. Screenshot of the video by HBO

03 July 2020, 11:27

"Meduza" tells about new tactics for persecuting gays in Chechnya

At least ten gays were killed in Chechnya over the past three years; while evacuation of LGBT people from the republic is hampered by falsification of criminal cases against them, Olga Baranova, an employee of the Moscow Community Centre, said in her interview with the "Meduza".

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the HBO (North-American cable and satellite TV network) made the documentary entitled "Welcome to Chechnya", telling about LGBT activists working undercover to help Chechen residents avoid persecutions for their sexual orientation, get visas and asylum.

According to Ms Baranova, evacuation of gays from Chechnya is complicated by falsification of criminal cases against them. She has stated that this is a new tactics of Chechen authorities. Under torture, a person is forced to sign a confession; and then no one can help him/her.

Olga Baranova works in a support group for queer women of Northern Caucasus - lesbians, transgender and bigender (non-binary gender) people. According to her story, in three years, they helped about 50 women to leave the region.

"It happens that they are not tortured, but there is constant sexual violence at home ... In Chechnya, everyone will be on the male's side," Baranova said.

While homosexual men are harassed by law enforcers, the fate of lesbians and transgender women is entirely in the hands of their relatives, who happen to be same cruel, the reference material of the "Caucasian Knot" entitled "Killed for orientation – the fate of queer women in Chechnya" asserts.

Olga Baranova has added that not everyone who is helped to leave Northern Caucasus moves to Europe – some of them stay in Russia. Some émigrés get successfully socialized, but not all of them – some become drug or alcohol addicted.

A gay man from Chechnya who left Russia told the "Caucasian Knot" about how people with non-traditional sexual orientation live in Chechnya; see his interview "They will kill you anyway, be it family or strangers”: gay about life in Chechnya and flight from Russia".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 3, 2020 at 10:22 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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