French groups accuse Chechnya of gay 'genocide' in complaint in Hague

By Allen Cone  |  May 16, 2017 at 12:12 PM
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May 16 (UPI) -- Three French lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups have accused the Russian republic of Chechnya of committing gay "genocide" in a complaint filed at the International Criminal Court.

The groups blame Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and other state officials for a "wave of persecution," the BBC reported.

Gay rights groups allege that Kadyrov had set up torture camps to exterminate gays, according to a report by French newspaper Le Monde. Kadyrov is "the logistician" of the "genocide," LGBT advocate Etienne Deshoulières said.

More than 2 million people have signed a petition to investigate alleged torture and detentions of gay people in Chechnya, the group added.

The arrests of more than 100 gay men were reported last month in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which also said at least two were murdered by their relatives and a third died after torture.

"We are facing massive violence, using very cruel tortures, targeting a group of people," Igor Kochetkov, the head of the LGBT Russia network, said.

Kadyrov has said no "people of non-traditional orientation" -- a term sometimes used to describe LGBT people in Russia -- live in the predominantly Muslim republic.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported an inquiry into the reports of a crackdown of gay people in Chechnya. But the groups instead want the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands to investigate the reports before Russia withdraws from its jurisdiction in November.

Earlier this month, 18 LGBT activists were arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia, while protesting against against the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya.

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