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

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).
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).
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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 […]

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