Wikipedia: Islam is the predominant religion in Chechnya, practised by 95% of those polled in Grozny in 2010. Chechens are overwhelmingly adherents to the Shafi’i Madhhab of Sunni Islam, the republic having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries.
CHECHNYA has been accused of opening a concentration camp for homosexuals with reports of gay men being tortured with electric shocks and beaten to death, prompting international outcry.
Chechnya president Razman Kadyrov said “homosexuals do not exist in the republic”
Up to 100 gay man have been detained and at least three killed in the past week in Chechnya, according to Russian newspaper Novoya Gazeta.
Human rights organisation the Council of Europe branded the allegations “alarming” and ordered an investigation.
It is believed inmates have been tortured with electric currents and beaten by guards trying to identify other members of the gay community in the region.
Russian LGBT Network said it was “highly disturbed” by the reports and called for the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation to intervene.
Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told the Mail: “Gay people have been detained and rounded up and we are working to evacuate people from the camps and some have now left the region.
“Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40. They are tortured with electric currents and heavily beaten, sometimes to death.”
Amnesty International has launched a petition calling for the alleged killings and abductions to stop.It is thought the men arrested range from age 15 to 50.
The human rights organisation said: “The Chechen government won’t admit that gay men even exist in Chechnya, let alone that they ordered what the police call ‘preventive mopping up’ of people they deem undesirable.
“We urgently need your help to call out the Chechen government on the persecution of individuals who are, as they put it, of ‘non-traditional orientation’, and urge them to take immediate steps to ensure their safety.”
Chechen president Razman Kadyrov allegedly ordered the crackdown on homosexuals with reports of local TV personalities and religious figures among the men detained.
Mr Kadyrov denied the reports, branding the allegations “absolute lies and disinformation” saying homosexuals “do not exist” in the southern Russian republic.
His spokesman told Interfax News Agency: “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.
“If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.
”Jonas Gunnarsson, general rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, said: “Alarming reports have been received from Chechnya in recent days concerning systematic abductions, torture and murders of individuals based on their sexual orientation.
“More than one hundred people are alleged to have been detained and at least three, and possibly many more, to have been killed in extrajudicial killings.
Journalist group comes under attack en-route to Chechnya
“These allegations are extremely worrying. We call on the authorities immediately to launch an investigation that is effective and fully in line with all the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“In this respect, reports that the Chechen authorities’ response so far has been to deny or trivialise the allegations, or even to imply that they condone such acts, are also of particularly grave concern”.
“No one should ever be made to feel afraid to express their sexual orientation. The authorities have a duty to protect all individuals against hate crimes. They must furthermore ensure that individuals targeted by or who complain of such offences are protected from retaliation, including so-called ‘honour killings’.”