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Activists outside the Russian Embassy protest against the treatment of suspected gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, London, April 12, 2017 (Rex Features photo via AP Images).

What’s Behind Chechnya’s Crackdown on Gay Men?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On April 1, the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta broke the news that security officials in Chechnya had rounded up at least 100 men suspected of being gay or bisexual, and that several had been killed either in custody or in so-called “honor killings” carried out by their families. Last week, United Nations experts reported that men were being subjected to verbal abuse, beatings and electric shocks. In an email interview, Kyle Knight, a researcher with the LGBT Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, discusses possible reasons for the crackdown and options for an effective international response.

WPR: What do we know about the recent crackdown on gay men in Chechnya, what has yet to be confirmed, and how difficult is it to verify reports from the area? ...

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