“50 best homophobes from Chechnya” hunt down Bashkiria gay men
People of non-traditional sexual orientation receive letters with threats. There are several victims of the homophobes.
Human rights activists report new cases of mass harassment of representatives of non-traditional sexual orientation in Russia. Homophobes’ new target is the Bashkiria homosexuals, Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. In early spring, the rights defenders noticed online posters of the so-called Pila game (‘Saw’) showing a doll from the eponymous movie. There are several versions of such posters with different deadlines for ‘hunt’. “Chechnya comeback now in Ufa”, says one of the posters with the footnote “over 50 best homophobes from the Chechen Republic visiting the Bashkir capital.”
First, the posters were considered a fake, but soon there were complaints from the victims. Gay men were tracked down, sent letters with threats, and beaten on the streets. They seek psychological and legal assistance at the Bashkir branch of Heterosexuals and LGBT Alliance for Equality. Many are afraid to file appeals to law enforcement agencies.
It is not yet clear whether there is a real connection with the gay persecution in Chechnya. To recall, the information on the harassment of gays in Chechnya appeared in Novaya Gazeta in April 2017. According to media, there had been mass purging of gay people in the republic. It was also reported on secret prisons, where men were held and tortured. In addition, the Chechen authorities have found a new way of persecuting Chechen homosexuals, preventing them from fleeing Russia. Gay men are accused of terrorism and declared wanted as supporters of the Islamic state (banned in the Russian Federation).