Pride Glasgow protest Chechnya camp

Published

Protest for gay rights at the Russian embassy in London. Credit: Peter Gray

Austen Shakespeare
Reporter

Pride Glasgow, an LGBTI+ charity, will be holding a protest at George Square on 20 April, in opposition to the alleged detention of homosexual men in Chechnya.

Guest speakers include Patrick Harvie MSP and Stewart McDonald MP. Speeches will begin at 6:15pm.

Reports first emerged of maltreatment of homosexual men in Chechnya on 1 April by independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. It claims that, a week prior to this, it received confirmation of detention centres and arrests of homosexuals from government officials and local LGBT activists.

It reported that over 100 men have been arrested and detained in makeshift camps. Conditions within the camps are reported as violent and intimidating. Survivors have reported torture methods including electrocution and beatings.

Alvi Karimov, spokesman for the Head of the Chechen Republic, claims the allegations are impossible, stating: “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.”

He continues:“If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

According to Human Rights Watch, honour killings based on sexual orientation remain common in Chechnya.

Glasgow University’s LGBTQ+ student association stated on its Facebook page: “We at GULGBTQ+ are deeply concerned about the situation regarding gay men in Chechnya. Men who are suspected of being gay are being subjected to horrific abuse, torture, and murder by police in concentration camps.” In addition, the student association later asked people to make donations to the Russian LGBT network.

The recent allegations have received strong international condemnation. Baroness Anelay issued this statement on 7 April: “The human rights situation for LGBT people in Russia has deteriorated significantly in recent years and we continue to voice our serious concern with Russian authorities at all levels. Russia’s international human rights obligations require them to protect citizens who may be at risk of persecution. We expect the Russian government to fulfill its obligations to this end, and to uphold the rule of law.”