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LGBT People Under Attack: Raids in Belarus, Murder in Chechnya, Registration of Gays in Central Asia

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Singer and Entertainer Zelim Bakaev Apparently Murdered by the Security Services of Chechnyan President’s Security Services 

The LGBTQI community is under assault in Eastern Europe as well as Central Asia. The most recent crackdown in the region was this past weekend’s raids of nightclubs popular with the LGBT community in Belarus, during which two clubs were shuttered, and patrons were harassed—and in some cases detained—by police.

“The reports out of Belarus are alarming. It is alarming that police targeted legal businesses, violated the privacy of their patrons, demanded personal information, and dragged some away to detention,” said Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord. “This appears to be the latest example of increased persecution of LGBT communities in the region—following egregious cases in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan.”

These reports come on the heels of reports that Chechen singer and entertainer Zelim Bakaev (photo), who had disappeared in August, had been tortured and murdered by the security services of Chechnya’s strongman president, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Bakaev, a Chechen singer who had been targeted based on rumors of his sexual orientation, traveled to his home in Grozny, Chechnya over two months ago and disappeared shortly after. His visit coincided with a long-running crackdown on LGBT Chechen’s that detained hundreds, tortured many, and left several dead. Members of the LGBT community in Grozny now report that Bakaev never left detention and died following torture by Chechen security forces.

“Over the past two months, the international community hoped that rumors of Zelim’s death were only that. But as we continued to raise concerns with the State Department, that hope dimmed. We are now forced to conclude that he was tragically swept up in this anti-gay purge and lost his life because of it,” Gaylord told NCRM.

NCRM spoke to sources in the human rights activist groups in Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya, as well as in Kharkov, Ukraine, where a small group of gay Chechens had fled to. They confirmed that Bakaev has been murdered within hours of his being detained. One source told NCRM that the murdered entertainer had “been acquainted with [President] Kadyrov, which may have greatly factored in his death.” 

The Belarusian raids come after a wave of incidents targeting the LGBT community in the region. Last Wednesday a Russian court fined activist Evdokiya Romanova 50,000 rubles for violating the country’s notorious “anti-gay propaganda” law for sharing news articles on social media featuring LGBT people.

Later last week, reports surfaced in the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan, that government representatives had created a registry of gay and lesbian citizens—a step that Human Rights First’s Gaylord noted could serve as a precursor to violence and discrimination against LGBT people in the country.

At the beginning of October, in Azerbaijan, authorities detained and tortured dozens of gay and transgender people under the auspices of cracking down on the illegal sex trade and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Gaylord said his organisation is greatly alarmed and disturbed by the recent wave of attacks and crackdowns on the LGBTQI community in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

“These incidents are part of a broader pattern of organized persecution of LGBT people in the region that dates back to legislation targeting the free speech and expression of Russia’s LGBTQI community,” he said. “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has to take immediate action to ensure the perpetrators of crimes against LGBT people in the region are held accountable and that the governments of Russia, Belarus, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan protect their LGBTQI citizens.”

Gaylord also told NCRM that his organization will continue to call on the U.S. government to protect LGBTQI people globally and to combat impunity for those who have perpetrated acts of violence and persecution against LGBTQI communities.

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

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BREAKING NEWS

‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master

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A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.

The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.

Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.

RELATED: In Trump’s ‘Special Master’ Appeal 2 of 3 Judges Are Ones He Appointed – and Both Previously Ruled Against Him

CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts  “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”

“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”

“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”

READ MORE: ‘Roughing Him Up’: Judges Scorch Trump’s Attorney in Tense Hearing Over His ‘Secret’ Argument

They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”

“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”

 

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News

Right Wing Social Media Platform Parler Announces Kanye West Will No Longer Buy It in ‘Interest of Both Parties’

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After Kanye West‘s antisemitic and racist remarks last month, which led to him being deplatformed by Twitter and Instagram, the extremist artist and rapper announced he was purchasing the right wing “free speech” social media platform Parler, which performs little content moderation.

On Thursday, hours after West went on far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show and praised Adolf Hitler, Parler issued a statement saying by mutual agreement West would not be purchasing the platform.

But the Parler statement, which came from its parent company, also claimed the decision had been made weeks ago.

“In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” Parler said on Twitter. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”

READ MORE: ‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’

On Thursday, stunning many, West told Alex Jones, “I see good things about Hitler,” as Consequence reported. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.” 

When West had agreed to purchase Parler, he stated, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”

CNBC reported last month that “Parler, which initially launched in 2018, was swept up in controversy last year over the role it played in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol building. That led a slew of tech companies, including Google and Amazon, to blacklist the service, rendering its app and website inaccessible.”

READ MORE: Matt Gaetz ‘Wingman’ Joel Greenberg Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison – Attorney ‘Disappointed’ Others Not Prosecute

Parler’s CEO is George Farmer, who is married to far right commentator Candace Owens. Owens several years ago had her own Hitler-praising scandal.

Owens, promoting nationalism, told young supporters in London, “Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”

“But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism.”

Hitler was responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people.

 

Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’

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Disgraced rapper and antisemite Kanye West on Thursday praised Adolf Hitler while in an interview with far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Many are expressing outrage online.

“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones, as Consequence reports. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.” 

In between those two remarks West launched into a plethora of lies about all the good things Hitler has done, including inventing the microphone (false) and highways (also false.)

West doubled down, exclaiming, “I like Hitler,” and said, “the Jewish media has made us feel like Nazis and Hitler have never offered us anything of value to the world.”

West, who brought a white supremacist with him to dine with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week, today also claimed he loves everyone but injected antisemitic tropes about contracts and pornography.

“I think most Jews are great people,” West said, while claiming, “I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”

West, who goes by “Ye,” astonishingly “took credit for popularizing antisemitism,” Consequence reports, “saying, ‘No one in high school knew what antisemitic meant until Ye made it popular.'”

That, too, is a lie.

The outrage online is palpable.

U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted, “JUST NOW: ‘I see good things about Hitler, also. The Jews… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.’
— Kanye West on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.”

“This is Nazism,” he added. “When are we going to say ENOUGH?”

Many pointed to a wildly offensive tweet posted by GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who heads the House Judiciary Republicans. After nearly two months it was removed within minutes of West praising Hitler.

U.S. Rep. Eric Falwell (D-CA) blasted Jordan, saying: “for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing.”

Sam Stern of Politico and MSNBC took a wider view.

“We’re all gawking at Kanye saying he sees ‘good things about Hitler’ but i can’t escape the absolute dread that people who know no better and look up to this man and stumble upon this interview will be moved, even on the margins, by him,” he tweeted. “This is not a clown show. It’s dangerous.”

As did actor Josh Gad:

“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me. It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform. No one who says “I love Hitler” should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”

There is video online of Kanye West’s vile remarks. NCRM will not post or link to it.

 

Image via Shutterstock

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