More than a hundred gay men have been rounded up by the police in the Russian republic of Chechnya. That’s according to reporting by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. So far, the Kremlin has turned a blind eye to this, though German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week urged Vladimir Putin to intervene.
There is an NGO that has been working to get gay men who’ve been targeted out of Chechnya. It is the Russian LGBT Network. And I spoke with that group’s communications manager via Skype. We should say we are not using her name because of the sensitive and dangerous nature of her work. She started by telling me how these men have been treated.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, they’re telling us that they are beaten. Sometimes some people are beaten to death. And also people are saying that they’re tortured with electric current, they are not fed properly …