More than 100 gay men 'sent to prison camps' in Chechnya

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The Russian republic of Chechnya has reportedly opened the first detention camp for homosexuals since the Nazi-era.

Now, the Novaya Gazette is reporting that a secret prison has been set up in the town of Argun to detain the men arrested in the purge, based on interviews with eyewitnesses and survivors. Russian Federation itself has a horrific reputation for its anti-LGBT stance and is claiming ignorance of the camp.

Meanwhile, the Chechen authorities have refused to stop the arrests, with one government spokesman denying that there are even LGBT people in Chechnya at all, saying, 'you can not arrest and repress those who simply aren't in the republic'.

Ramzan Kadyrov says that, if gay men did indeed exist in Chechnya, authorities would not have to worry about them because their families would already be so ashamed of their sexual orientation that these individuals would thus be banished from the area by their relatives, and told never to return again.

Rudolph Brazda said he was let go.

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, a human rights activist with the International Crisis Group, told The Guardian that she has been fielding similar reports.

Prisoners in the camps are believed to be beaten and electrocuted in attempts to get them to reveal the whereabouts of other homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region in the North Caucasus. His cell phone was seized and his contacts utilized in a further crack down by officials. The State Department last week condemned the violence in a strongly worded statement, but American LGBT groups, including HRC and GLAAD, want to see the US government do more.

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German government representative for cooperation with Russia, Gernot Erler, called for investigation into "these bad reports". Three deaths have been reported.

On April 7, the US State Department expressed concern about "numerous credible reports" while Britain's foreign minister called on Russian Federation to investigate the situation.

"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", Svetlana Zakharova, from the Russian LGBT Network, told the Daily Mail.

She said homophobia is widespread in Chechnya. Kadyrov was appointed to his leadership post by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Homosexuality has always been considered controversial in the conservative, quasi-independent Russian territory, but according to Tatyana Lokshina, program director of Human Rights Watch in Moscow, this is the first time gay people in Chechnya have reportedly been targeted on such a large scale. His friend was beaten "with a hose and tortured with electricity".

"As a queer Christian blogger, I suppose I should have something to say about the murder and torture of gay men in Chechnya".