Following an initial report last week that Chechnya has launched a new crackdown on LGBTQ people in the region, activists have come forward to claim that there have already been fatalities.
According to this new information two people have been killed and further 40 have been detained purely because of their sexual orientation.
It has been reported that the two deaths were caused by the use of torture by police in the Russian republic.
Both men and women have been detained in this new wave of persecution, The Russian LGBT Network have said, following the detention of an administrator for a group for LGBTQ people on the social network VKontakte.
Much like the first wave of persecution back in 2017, police threatened the victims’ families with violence if they spoken out about the crackdown.
Authorities have also reportedly taken documents from the prisoners so they cannot escape the region while being held at a jail in the town of Argun.
“The persecution of men and women suspected of homosexuality never ceased,” said Igor Kochetkov, the programme director for the Russian LGBT Network. “The only thing that has changed is its scale.”
Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta – who unveiled the first instance of an LGBTQ crackdown in Chechnya back in 2017 – have also partially confirmed these fresh reports.
Back in 2017, chilling reports of young gay men being murdered by their own family members came to fruition, as authorities told parents to kill them – or they’ll do it themselves.
A 17-year-old male was reportedly murdered by his own uncle, after being pushed from his 9th floor balcony.
The Kremlin and Chechen government have both repeatedly denied allegations that gay men are being detained and tortured in the region, but Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has never kept it a secret that he is staunchly anti-LGBTQ.
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has also been heavily criticised by campaigners for not looking into the persecution LGBTQ Chechens have been subjected to.
Kadyrov publicly declared that he wanted all LGBTQ people in the country to be eliminated by May 26 2017, which marked the start of Muslim holiday, Ramadan.
He has maintained that all of the reports were false because in Chechnya, “we don’t have these kinds of people here.”
These accounts of the persecution LGBTQ people face in Chechnya comes as the Human Rights Campaign give repeated calls for Donald Trump to publicly condemned the Russian Republic’s actions.
They want the US president to “end his deafening silence” on ongoing crimes against people suspected of being LGBTQ in the country.
“These atrocities constitute crimes against humanity…None of the perpetrators have been brought to justice,” they have previously put in a letter to the White House.
“Russia has refused to launch an investigation, and those who carried out these abuses face no repercussions for their actions.
“You must condemn these crimes against humanity and call on Russia to conduct an investigation and hold the perpetrators accountable.”