At least 100 known prisoners have reportedly been relocated as the camp was left in ruins
The gay concentration camp in Chechnya – where it was reported over 100 men had been taken in Chechnya’s “gay purge” – has been destroyed and relocated to an unconfirmed location.
According to respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta, when a Russian investigative team arrived at the site detailed by former inmates and in the press, it was found to be abandoned and covered in construction debris. The new camp is reportedly at a Special Police Force training base in Terek, 60km north of the former site, in Argun. It is thought all of the prisoners have been moved to the base. However, upon traveling to the new site, the team was turned away by authorities after being told “training is taking place”.
What is most concerning, authorities are pressuring families and relatives of prisoners to fabricate a story explaining their disappearance. They are “demanding (relatives) sign a statement with the standard text stating: ‘their son (or brother) [FULL NAME] left the republic to work in Moscow in late February. There is no connection to the Chechen police’.”
The Russian LGBT Network has helped 42 men evacuate the region. A remaining 40 are on standby, waiting to flee safely. At least nine men have successfully been granted visas to countries outside of Russia, two having been relocated to Lithuania. Talks are taking place between activists and five separate countries willing to take in refugees, including two non-EU countries. The United States has denied all visas to those attempting to flee the terrors in Chechnya, as BuzzFeed reported Wednesday. Trump may not even be “aware” of the issue, the White House confirmed to reporters.
Human Rights Watch has also corroborated the reports of Novaya Gazeta, stating: “The information published by Novaya Gazeta is consistent with the reports Human Rights Watch recently received from numerous trusted sources, including sources on the ground. The number of sources and the consistency of the stories leaves us with no doubt that these devastating developments have indeed occurred.”
With all of the information they’ve uncovered, journalists working at Gazeta have been forced into hiding, having received threast of jihad from the biggest Mosque in the region. A statement from Russian authorities sent to Israeli newspaper Haaretz refuted the reports, saying, “There are no victims of persecution, threats or violence.” It also slammed the reports as “the excuse for the beginning of a propaganda campaign against Russia around the world.”