A protest is happening outside the Russian Embassy in London today, in response to alleged crimes against humanity in Chechnya, where gay men are reportedly being rounded up and taken to gay concentration camps where they are beaten and tortured.
According to newspaper Novaya Gazeta, human rights groups have been reporting that homosexuals in the Russian region are being detained “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such”.
Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov denies the allegations. According a chilling statement made by the leader’s spokesman, “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 since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”
Protesters are expected to gather at junction of Bayswater Road and Ossington Street.
The event description wants this to be a peaceful and legal protest. People are encouraged to bring banners, flags and most importantly, gather as many people as possible to challenge this oppression and show solidarity with LGBT+ people in Russia–“London fails if it does not challenge this inhumanity. We MUST stand up to this.”
Chechnya is an autonomous republic in southern Russia. It is controlled by the Russian-appointed leader Kadyrov. The Republic has seen jihadist groups including so-called Islamic State operating in the area.