No escape from Russia: Chechen gays are accused of terrorism so they cannot flee country
The siloviki visit homosexuals’ relatives with the demand to sign a statement, where it is stated that the escaped member of the family allegedly left for Syria.
The authorities of Chechnya have found a new way of persecuting Chechen homosexuals following they cannot leave Russia. Gay men are charged with terrorism and are wanted as supporters of the Islamic State (an organization banned on the territory of the Russian Federation).
Chechen security forces visit homosexuals’ relatives and demand to write statements about the departure of their children to Syria, employees of two human rights organizations told Kavkaz.Realii edition.
"The policy of the Chechen law enforcement agencies is such: it is easier for them to immediately state that the person was recruited and he left for Syria. Most likely, this is designed to ensure that people, who do not want to live in those conditions, did not go anywhere. Because this one message about leaving for Syria is not the end. His entire family will have a monkey on their back, Kadyrovtsy (Head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov’s special forces officers – Ed.) will impose pressure on them," the interlocutor of Kavkaz.Realii explained.
According to the edition, the police of Chechnya have already announced the search for several homosexuals on suspicion of terrorism.
Recall that previously BBC journalists reported that the relatives of the disappeared residents of the Republic were forced to write statements about leaving for Syria. As the CrimeRussia previously wrote, the Chechens disappeared after mass arrests in December-January 2016-2017, which began after the attack on policemen in Grozny on the night of December 17. Novaya Gazeta reported that at least 27 detainees were shot to death.
Information about the hard oppression of gays in Chechnya appeared in Novaya Gazeta in April this year. According to the press, mass purges among homosexuals were held in the Republic. It was also pointed out that secret prisons, where men were held and tortured, operated in the region. In connection with these publications, Tatyana Moskalkova, the Human Rights Ombudswoman in the Russian Federation, applied to law enforcement agencies to verify this information. At the end of June, the Ombudswoman once again stated that she did not receive a single appeal about violations of the rights of LGBT community representatives in Chechnya. Despite this, media publish new stories from gay refugees, who managed to leave the Republic. They talk about tortures and murders, which began in 2009.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had seen plenty of scandals throughout its history. In the end of 2017, it ceased financing of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) on suspicion of misuse of funds by its management. However, the IOC couldn’t even think that international drug trafficker Gafur Rakhimov, member of the criminal ‘Brothers’ Circle’ put on the OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, is going to take charge of it soon. Furthermore, Rakhimov has contributed greatly to the selection of Sochi the place of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Kochkin is detained in the headquarters building and brought to the police department, where policemen drew up a protocol under Violating the Established Procedure for Arranging or Conducting a Meeting, Rally, Demonstration, Procession or Picket (part 8 of Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses). According to the activist, in the near future he will go on trial.