Russian "Concentration Camps"?

    This past week news came out that homosexual concentration camps have been established in Chechnya, Russia.  For the past couple of weeks men ranging from the ages 16 to 50 have gone missing due to openness about their sexuality or suspicion of being gay. This past Saturday though, a local Russian newspaper confirmed these suspicions by stating that the government at Chechnya has been arresting and killing gay men. The Chechen authorities have denied the accusations since then stating,  “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic.” A government official by the name of Kheda Saratova even said, “In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities, and do everything to make sure that this kind of person does not exist in our society.”

    According to reports, men have been held at the Russian town of Argun in camps, the few that escaped said that they are all (30 to 40 men) being kept in a room. They also stated that they would torture them with electricity and beat them, sometimes to the point of death. They are also being forced to sit on sharp objects such as bottles while the government ransoms them for money.

    Allegedly the repression began when a Moscow based gay activist group applied to have a gay parade in multiple Russian cities that are predominantly Muslim.  The group was not targeting to have parades in Russian areas; they were looking to cover their bases with provincial areas around Russia. According to news reports, the government created fake accounts on dating sites to find out which residents where looking for a same sex partner. In retaliation to this, gay men have deleted online accounts and even fled the country to be freed from oppression.

Commentary from me: It is disheartening to see that history is beginning to repeat itself. It starts by one person being radical and this could lead to another war and tremendous pain and suffering for people who are trying to live their life the best they can and as happy as they can. As someone who has visited various concentration camps, I have to say the smell of death is something you can never forget and years later it still remained in those camps. Therefore I urge you to spread the word about what is happening because maybe with a lot of people moving to put a halt to this situation, we can prevent it from escalating.

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