‘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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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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