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Chechen people reportedly told to kill their gay children

Accounts from survivors tell the horror stories from the Russian republic’s murderous prison camps

Survivors of the camps set up in Chechnya to torture and murder gay men have told of their continued persecution. Some have detailed how authorities are telling families they must kill their gay children, or they will.

“They tell the parents to kill their child – they say ‘either you do it, or we will,’” an anonymous man told France24. “They call it – ‘cleaning your honour with blood.’”

“They tortured a man for two weeks (then) they summoned his parents and brothers who all came... they said to them: ‘your son is a homosexual – sort it out or we’ll do it ourselves,’” he added.

“We’ve always been persecuted, but never like this. Now they arrest everyone. They kill people, they do whatever they want.” 

Those shown on camera have their faces and voices obscured and their location is kept secret for protection.

Meanwhile, both the Kremlin and Chechen government continue to deny the claims that over 100 gay men have been detained in the region, tortured for information on others and executed. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty have confirmed reports from sources in Russia that the homophobic murder and torture of men there has been ongoing.

Alan Duncan, the minister for foreign affairs in the UK, confirmed that Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen president, had declared that he wanted all LGBT people in the region to be eliminated by May 26.

Another video from the Human Rights First organisation with the Russian Speaking American LGBT association featured first hand accounts from other survivors, narrated by Russians who found asylum in the U.S.

“They stripped me naked. One filmed me on his cell phone. Three of them beat me up. They kicked me, broke my jaw,” said one. 

Another detailed how they were being tortured in the camp: “They attached the wires of the stun gun to me. It’s very painful. I endured as much as I could and then I passed out.”

“Sometimes they were just trying to get information from me, other times they were just amusing themselves,” one account added, speaking of guards who referred to them as “animals, not humans”. 

“They said that this is a gay and that there should be defects like this in Chechnya,” another man narrates. “I have not the slightest doubt that my own relatives wanted to kill me. It was an invitation to an executive.”