‘We Do Not Have Any Reliable Information About Any Problems in This Area’
The Chief spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the Russian government had not been made aware of the ongoing persecution, detention, and murder of LGBTQI persons in Chechnya, in Russia’s Northern Caucus region.Â
â€œWe do not have any reliable information about any problems in this area,â€ Dmitry Peskov told reporters. Homophobia is rife in the Republic and the Chechen authoritarian leader, Ramzan KadyrovÂ (photo, right, with Putin), is known to be fiercely loyal to Putin.Â
The reports, corroborated by three leading human rights groups and a Russian group allege that the detentions continue and that the men held are undergoing torture and abuse.
BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire told NCRM that the journalist who broke the story, Novaya Gazetaâ€™sÂ Elena Milashina, who is currently in hiding, told her Wednesday: “We know about four secret prisons. Two of them in the capital of Chechnya, Grozny, one of them in Argun â€“ this is the first secret prison we discovered where LGBT people were detained, beaten, tortured and killed.”
â€œWe got this information [a few] weeks ago and began to prove it. Itâ€™s pretty hard in Chechnya, especially to rescue LGBT people, because theyâ€™re a very closed network. The region is very hard on those people and they have to hide,”Â Milashina continued.
â€œThe Chechen government denied [the allegations], although they donâ€™t deny that if they found this kind of people in Chechnya they would be killed. They donâ€™t deny this, but they deny the secret camps and they have denied that they detained more than 100 people and killed some of them.â€
Earlier this month Novaya Gazeta published accounts of nearly 100 men who were detained in Chechnya, â€œin connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation.â€ The Russian independent opposition newspaperÂ also published reports that alleged about a half-dozen people had been killed, while others suffered acts of torture at the hands of government agents in the Chechen capital of Grozny, and the city of Argun,Â in what were described as special detention facilities.
Milashina has been forced into hiding after one of the regionâ€™s largest mosques declared a jihadist fatwah against her as well as the paper itself.
According to the paper’s chief editor Dmitry Muratov, the Chechens’ spiritual leader, Mufti Salah-haji Mezhiev, had called for retribution against the paper and Milashina at a special meeting held in Grozny, on April 3. Speaking to the Russian news site RBC, Salah-haji Mezhiev said, “Allah will punish those who slandered the whole Chechen nation and Chechen Republic’s clerics. There will be retribution!”
In an open letter published after the Clericâ€™s public statement on Thursday, Muratov wrote that his journalists would continue investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya.
“We did not insult,Â neither had we the slightest intention to insult,Â the Chechen people,” Muratov said,Â calling for dialogue. “We urge the Russian authorities to do everything possible to prevent actions aimed at inciting hatred and enmity towards journalists, who are doing their professional duty.” Chechens have been linked to two murders of Novaya Gazeta reporters who investigated crimes in Chechnya, Anna Politkovskaya and Natalia Estemirova.Â
When the paper initially broke the story, a spokesperson for Kadyrov denied the arrests, telling the press that “such persons do not exist in Chechnya and even if so then their families will deal with them,” alluding to potential honor killings of LGBTQI persons.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United Nations have issued statements condemning the situation, asking that the Russian Government investigate the situation. Russian LGBTQ activists have told NCRM that private efforts are currently underway to get LGBTQI persons out of that region.Â
Brody LevesqueÂ is the Chief Political Correspondent forÂ The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody atÂ Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com
To comment on this article and other NCRM content,Â visit our Facebook page.
Image viaÂ The Kremlin
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‘Monster’: Internet Makes #AbbottHatesDogs Trend After Texas Governor Vetos Bipartisan Anti-Cruelty Bill
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire for vetoing the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, bipartisan legislation to protect dogs by making it illegal to tie them up with heavy chains outdoors, or leave them without water or shade. He criticized the bill as “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”
The legislation “would have expanded and clarified the state’s animal cruelty laws,” and “had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies and organizations, county prosecutors, and advocates for animals, and it passed 28-3 in the Senate and 83-32 in the House,” as The Week reports.
Abbott increasingly has been in the national news, amid speculation he might run for the White House in 2024. He is also facing a possible primary from the right. As #AbbottHatesDogs trended on social media the Texas Republican governor posted a clip of his two dogs. It did not seem to help.
Peaches and Pancake ready to play.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 22, 2021
Vetoing legislation to protect dogs does not seem to have helped his future prospects, as many social media users appear to think, but it did help former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes as people started to post #BetoLovesDogs tweets.
I have to hand it to the governor. “Anti-voting rights, pro-animal cruelty” is a bold re-election message. pic.twitter.com/bw6JoqC1U2
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 22, 2021
Beto would never veto a dog cruelty bill.#AbbottHatesDogs
— Jake Lobin (@JakeLobin) June 22, 2021
What kind of monster is against protecting dogs? https://t.co/S4nsPYLaYG
— Aki Peritz (@AkiPeritz) June 22, 2021
Greg Abbott wants Texas to be the state where you freeze in the winter, roast in the summer, can chain up a dog with no shelter or water and force a 13 year old rape and incest victim to give birth to her grandfather’s baby.
— thearticles7777 (@thearticles7777) June 22, 2021
Nice try. You’re so obviously trying to play down the hate dog message you’ve sent.
— Bry (@irebry) June 22, 2021
Nice that they can play. Unlike the countless dogs who are chained up without food, shelter, or water in your state who you chose to keep in those conditions for no fucking reason.
Go fuck yourself, you dick jiggling toadstool. You don’t deserve dogs.
— Stefanie Williams (@StefWilliams25) June 22, 2021
“Texans don’t need that kind of micromanagement” is a hell of a statement considering the bills he did sign…
— Amanda Miller (@mrsmillerbio) June 22, 2021
While it sounds incomprehensible at first, this does make sense when you consider the fact that Gov Abbott doesn’t feel like humans should have drinkable water or adequate shelter either.
— cogito, ergo bibo. (@TheDillon13) June 22, 2021
This was one of 18 dogs chained up in a yard, & he was too scared to go near anyone. Nephew Dylan coaxed him out of his hiding place so a rescue group could take him to a cozier home.
Dogs know who the good people are. #AbbottHatesDogs pic.twitter.com/mFnsezsdym
— Lynne Kelly 🐘🐳 (@LynneKelly) June 22, 2021
— Nikki Smith (@kennahgramma) June 22, 2021
— Witch Queen of Angmar | ♿️🏳️🌈 (@themadkatter1) June 22, 2021
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 22, 2021
Governor Abbott vetos cruelty to animals bill, cares less about dogs, cares less about his freezing citizens in the winter or sweltering citizens in the summer and only thinks about using their tax money to pay for a wall, to please Trump.#AbbottHatesDogs pic.twitter.com/rTIymiGicg
— Rick Ocean 🇺🇲🇳🇴 #Resister (@RickOceanMusic) June 22, 2021
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 22, 2021
Signorile: The Trumpian Attacks on Pride Flags
Anti-LGBTQ haters, mounting a resistance in Biden’s America, are targeting the rainbow symbol
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.
I wrote a few weeks ago about several jarring incidents in which rainbow flags symbolizing queer Pride were vandalized or had triggered acts of violence against people, in addition to demands of removal from property.
Now comes this story this week out of Eastland Cove, a condo development just north of gay-friendly Fort Lauderdale, in Broward County, Florida. A gay couple, Mike Ferrari and Bob Plominski, have lived there for over 10 years, and have hung Pride flags in the past. But this year they received a letter from the Eastland Cove Homeowners Association that they must remove their flag from their mailbox or be fined $50 and $10 additionally for each day they refuse to remove it. They’re standing firm, and have taken their story nationally.
A Florida homeowners association has ordered a gay couple to remove a small rainbow flag from their front yard or pay a $50 daily fine if the flag is not removed by June 15. The couple said they will continue to fly it until the end of the month. https://t.co/IHAz2eEESi
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 19, 2021
Sure, homeowners associations have wide discretion on decorations, including flags, and some are quite strict. But the key issue here is that Ferrari and Plominki have flown a rainbow flag for years. The association’s rules state that only American flags, state flags or military flags may be flown, but no one complained in the past. Now, however, one or more people lodged a complaint and the board says it was compelled to demand the couple remove the flag.
Why didn’t anyone care enough in the past to file a complaint, but now they have? It could be any of a number of reasons — including someone new moving in — but I’m betting, looking at what’s happening all over the country, that it’s more of an assertion of backlash by people who were emboldened by Donald Trump’s expressions of hate. That included his administration’s stripping LGBTQ rights and removing rainbow decorations and Pride flags from embassies around the world. The Trump White House had reversed course from the Obama White House, not marking Pride month with a proclamation, nor flying a rainbow flag or lighting the White House in rainbow colors.
But President Joe Biden, in rapid pace, reversed Trump’s horrific executive orders that harmed LGBTQ people. And now the embrace of Pride by the White House is back — and the flags are flying at embassies around the world, including at the Vatican — while the haters are lashing out now in an act of resistance in Biden’s America.
Certainly there have been hateful attacks on Pride flags since the time it was created by activist Gilbert Baker in 1978, through some of the most overtly homophobic times this country has seen, including during the escalation of the AIDS crisis. But in 2021 the attacks seem to have escalated in a way that shouldn’t be happening at this point in time. It’s like we’re gong backwards — or there is a backlash by people who feel very threatened by the current reality, in which Trump lost the election but they believe it was stolen and their rightful place was taken away. As I wrote a few weeks ago:
A Sacramento church had its Pride flag burned last week. A student in Florida was brutally stomped on for bringing a Pride flag to a picnic. Boaters terrorized people in another boat on a lake in Washington state two weeks ago because they flew Pride flags on their boat (Ironically, the only harm came to the harassers, whose boat exploded, ignited by an engine fire during the altercation). Wisconsin homeowners were told by their association to remove Pride flags; they got creative and doused their home in rainbow floodlights.
Since then, a Pride flag was vandalized at a vintage shop in a town in Maine. A church outside of Cleveland reported its Pride flags were stolen two dozen times. Pride flags were stolen from the streets of Boise, Idaho. A teen at a Washington state university allegedly burned a Pride flag. A California city even refused to fly the flag at the request of residents.
Read the entire article and subscribe at The Signorile Report.
Neo-Nazi Shared Plot With Followers to Use Snipers to Bring America ‘To Its Knees’: Report
A former Marine who encouraged fellow neo-Nazi’s to move to Maine and make a “white future” for themselves by creating a white ethnostate, also shared a video with his followers with a proposal to use snipers to bring America “to its knees,” Vice News is reporting.
According to the Vice report, the plan by Chris Pohlhaus, 34, involved shooters targeting the nation’s truck drivers in the hope that it would create economic chaos.
According to Vice’s Ben Makuch, the ex-military man sat before a Confederate flag in his video and detailed his plan.
Writing that Pohlhaus described his proposal as one that could “easily disrupt the United States’ supply chain,” Makuch quoted the self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi telling his fans, “It’s easy to stop trucks. You don’t need anybody; you barely need anyone. Twenty five dudes. Twenty five dudes trained with a (rifle),” before adding, “Each one of those guys shoots and moves and hides, shoots two truckers a day. That’s 50 truckers (shot) every day.”
According to the report, “Pohlhaus denied telling followers to shoot truckers and said the full context of the video was discussing historical hypotheticals involving whether or not epic figures like Ghengis Khan or Alexander the Great could conquer the modern world. He said the trucker analogy was meant to show that it’s easy to attack a society he considers on the brink of demise.”
In a text message to Vice, Pohlhaus wrote, “This system is incredibly fragile and what I did was show a way 25 men could bring it completely to its knees. And I am right, as always. They could,” before warning, “It is only a matter of time before something happens and this fragile little world falls apart. You need to come to terms with this reality and prepare for the absolute hell that is coming for us.”
You can read more here.
Image: Chris Pohlhuas/Twitter
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