Recent reports reveal that Chechnya, Russia are running devastating LGBT concentration camps

Locator map of Chechnya and the surrounding region.

By Gonzalo Enriquez, staff writer

Recently there have been reports coming out of Russian-controlled Chechnya about gay concentration camps. Russia already is one of the top homophobic countries worldwide. Chechnya is a strongly Islamic place with very traditional values. What’s happening in Chechnya to LGBT people is devastating and worrying.

Police in Chechnya have already reportedly detained more than 100 gay men and at least three have been killed, according to NPR News. Apparently men have been lured to locations, then are beaten and imprisoned. Security service agents pose as gay men looking for dates on gay social media sites and apps to lure people suspected of being gay, according to The New York Times. They even use the cellphones of the people they have already captured and impersonate them to lure those victims’ friends.

Using victims’ cellphones and impersonating as them to lure their friends is horrible and that’s going too far. It would be hard living in that state of mind, where you couldn’t even trust close friends because you don’t even know if it is truly them contacting you. Nevertheless people have let other friends know what’s happening and people have taken precautions like having safe words or asking certain questions the two may only know the answer to.

Men ranging ages from 16 to 50 suspected of being gay have been arrested by Chechnya authorities, according to The Huffington Post. So once someone is brought in these concentration camps, which are believed to be police stations, they are beaten and tortured with electric shocks and their phone taken from them and questioned about every contact asking if this person is gay.

The most inhumane part of the story is how when people are released to their families and authorities tell the families their son is gay, the authorities then tell the family it should know what to do with the gay family member.

Families are supposed to perform honor killings once the person is released back to them because in their culture if you have a gay person in your family, it is seen as a stain on the whole family. So the other brothers and sisters wouldn’t be able to get married and the family would be full of shame from other people.

It is sad to think that people my age could be arrested for being suspected of being gay. The people rounded up and arrested should be able to live their own lives and deserve to be happy. Russia and Chechnya are wrong to try to oppress their LGBT community and wipe them out existence.