Denying Chechen Gay Torture — In Grozny, Moscow, and DC

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, a Putin ally, denies gay men exist in his country — so that he can continue rounding up, torturing, and killing them. | KREMLIN.RU

Chechnya wants to eliminate gay community by end of May,” the British-based’s headline states. Now how exactly does one deal with threats of imminent extermination? Stay away from Chechnya, for starters. Not that the wretched place has much to offer, although according to Trivago, you can get a hotel room in Grozny for $6 a night.

The Independent continues: “Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov plans to ‘eliminate’ the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan, a British foreign minister has claimed. Reports from Chechnya allege that more than 100 men have been rounded up and detained in secret prisons [aka concentration camps] by authorities on suspicion of being gay in recent weeks, with many beaten and tortured. At least four men are alleged to have been killed.” Kadyrov is, of course, a Putin pal, and he takes his gay-hating lead from the Trump-playing former KGB agent who is — and apparently always will be — president of the Russian Federation.

“Speaking in Parliament during an urgent question on the persecution and detention of LGBT citizens in the Russian republic of Chechnya, minister of state for the Foreign Office Sir Alan Duncan said he had been informed of alleged plans to ‘eliminate’ the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan, which commences on 26 May,” the Independent goes on. “‘Human rights groups report that these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,’ Sir Alan said.”


“Sir Alan called the reports of actions taken in Chechnya, a largely Muslim country, as ‘utterly barbaric.’ One man told CNN people had beaten him with their fists and feet to try and get names of other gay men from him. ‘Then they tied wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me. They’ve got special equipment, which is very powerful. When they shock you, you jump high above the ground.’”

Even the proto-fascist Breitbart found the story disturbing enough to cover it: “LGBT activists in Israel and around the world have pointed to footage of a survivor of one of the camps telling a French interviewer that Chechen authorities are now instructing the parents of gay men to kill their sons as a matter of family honor. ‘The authorities said to them: “Your son is a homosexual — sort it out or we’ll do it ourselves,”’ the survivor told the France 24 television station. ‘Now they arrest everyone. They kill people, they do whatever they want.’”

Of course, the Breitbart story resulted in the following response in the comments section by someone calling themself Messianic613: “How long will it take before ISIS rockets or other upheaval will descend upon Tel Aviv, The ‘Gay Capital?’ Committing and propagating perversions will bring disaster and divine punishment on the nation. The Torah hasn’t changed.”

It certainly hasn’t. I’m sure that Messianic613 is abiding strictly by the proscription — Deuteronomy 22:11 — against wearing clothes made of wool and linen blend. And God help you, Messianic 613! STAY AWAY FROM RED LOBSTER ON PERIL OF YOUR SOUL!

BuzzFeed News pointed out that Kadyrov denied that there were any gay Chechens, always an effective strategy: “Chechen society does not have this phenomenon called non-traditional sexual orientation. For thousands of years the people have lived by other rules, prescribed by God.”

“We have never had them among the Chechens…,’” Pink News reported Kadyrov as saying, “…unless we are talking about those who aren’t Chechens but say they are so that they can get to the West.”

Non-Chechen gay men flock to Chechnya so they can leave Chechnya for the West…. This is all so twisted I can’t even begin to comment on it, except to point out that Chechnya is mostly Muslim, and Islam was founded in the seventh century, so if the people of Chechnya have lived for thousands of years by other rules prescribed by God, the prophet Muhammad must be irrelevant. Somehow I don’t think that’s what Kadyrov meant.

I’m certain we will be hearing about the Trump administration’s outrage over this contemporary pogrom any day now. Congress has responded forcefully with a letter signed by 47 Democrats and a whopping 3 Republicans. The “party of Lincoln” my ass.

Gregory T. Angelo, the president of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin club — what’s that you say? Oh, excuse me, I mean the Log Cabin Republicans — has made a big deal about the Trump administration’s extraordinary record on LGBTQ rights so far. According to, Angelo “noted, for example, United Nations Amb. Nikki Haley’s condemnation of reported Chechen abuse of gay men. Those concerns have been echoed by Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina.”

The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson has reported that in addition to Tillis and Rubio (who was last given a score of 0 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scorecard), Senators Susan Collins and Pat Toomey, both Republicans, have each tweeted on the subject. Wow! 140 characters! What a forceful response to gay men being rounded up, forced into concentration camps, tortured, and murdered.

Meanwhile, our new secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has been utterly mute on the subject. In fact, according to The Ring of Fire (, a progressive news and commentary outlet, “Rex Tillerson, the former fossil fuel CEO who is now our secretary of state, says that if the US focuses on human rights issues abroad, it could hurt our interests in those countries. What he really means is that we have to keep our mouths shut about these abuses so American corporations can continue to exploit their natural resources.”

The Brits brought the matter up on the floor of Parliament as an “urgent question.” I’m sure it will be the subject of vital congressional concern any day now.

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