Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Chechnya- Russia: Gay men slaughtered and buried in a single bloody night revealed by Novaya Gazeta as purge continues

In late February or early March, Ali was in his apartment in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, when he got a phone call from a local police officer. “Get dressed, we have to take you in,” the man said. Ali took the sim card out of his cell phone, inserted it into a spare, blank phone, and hid his regular handset. By the time he was done, two police officers were knocking on the door. They put him in a car and drove to a nearby street, where two cars were waiting. The men put him in the back seat of one of the vehicles and got in with him.

Ali was taken into a room. “Their boss is sitting there, sprawled out,” he continued. “He says, ‘You take it up the ass.’ I start denying everything.” The boss asked Ali about another man, whom Ali knew to be gay. That morning, the man had called Ali and suggested that they meet. “I knew that if they tortured him he’d break and give everyone up,” Ali told me. He said to the police that he knew the man only as a business client. “They started beating me. I kept saying that I don’t know anything, I’ve never even heard that there were gays here in Chechnya.”

The jailers tortured Ali and then brought him back upstairs to face the boss, then back to the basement for more torture, then back up. Eventually, he was thrown into a cell and left there without food. Ali counted the days by the number of times he was allowed to perform his ablutions, then to drink the dirty water. He had seven drinks of water in all, which means that his captivity lasted more than a week. (Source: New Yorker)

The secret mass execution is thought to have seen up to 56 people killed – all without trial. Novaya Gazeta, citing two high level sources in Chechnya, reported on July 9 that dozens of people were unlawfully detained across the republic during unannounced raids that began in mid-December 2016. Twenty seven of them were allegedly killed on the night of January 26 without being formally arrested.

The outlet has spent months investigating illegal detentions in the area.The same newspaper broke the story that the region is rounding up and persecuting gay people earlier this year.


LisezTchétchénie : le retour des camps de concentration par Christine Robledo- Les Chroniques Mortes ou Vives

  • Background

According to Novaya Gazeta, who published a series of articles about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, these executions are not linked to the anti-gay campaign in the republic. The mass arrests are believed to have been triggered by the killing of a policeman on 16 December 2016. The executions were all carried out in Chechnya’s capital, Grozny, on the night of 25 January, the newspaper claims.

The newspaper has published the list of names it claims President Ramzan Kadyrov’s government killed.

It reports that the victims were shot without trial, then the bodies were “taken to various cemeteries, including Christian ones, where they were buried in hastily dug graves”.

The Russian LGBT Network confirmed that a number of the men killed were gay and bisexual, but some are believed to be heterosexual.

“As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true,” a representative for the group said.

“With regards to the sexual orientation of those killed, as far as we know there are homosexual people in this list, but not all of them at all.”

  • Amnesty International’s reaction

Following these reports in Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper that security forces in the Russian republic of Chechnya killed 27 people on the night of 26 January 2017, Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, said:

“These allegations come from a credible source and as horrendous as they are, appear totally plausible for Chechnya, where the authorities enjoy complete  impunity for human rights violations.

“Amnesty International has documented the practice of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus for many years, and these allegations are consistent with our past findings. They must be investigated immediately, and if proven to be true, all perpetrators must be brought to justice.

“In addition, a full and thorough investigation needs to  be carried out into allegations of the secret imprisonment and torture and other ill-treatment of more than 100 gay men in Chechnya in April.

“The security forces cannot be allowed to get away with torture and murder simply because they wear the badge of the state.”

The Chechen government has denied allegations of a gay purge in the region, despite many victims coming forward to reveal their ordeals.
European leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have both raised the issue publicly during meetings with Vladimir Putin, and the UK government has also expressed concerns.
Activists in Russia say Chechen authorities have re-started the detaining of gay and bi men following on from a “gay purge” this year.
Now, according to Enrique Torre Molina of All Out, Chechens have contacted the Russian LGBT Network hotline to say that arrests are again being made once again.

These are the 27 men said to have been killed:

Abdulmezhidov Adam Isaevich, born May 27, 1987

Abumuslimov Apti Hasanovic, born June 2, 1989

Abdulkerimov Side Ramzan Ramzanovich, born March 25, 1990

Alimhanov Islam Aliev, born July 6, 1998

Abubakarov Adam Dzhabrailovich, born May 5, 1995

Bergan Ismail Shadidovich born August 19, 1998

Dasaev Adam Ilyasovich, born June 16, 1988

Dzhabayev Zelimhan Hizirovich, born December 18, 1993

Ilyasov Adam Huseynovich, born September 22, 1997

Lugano Rizwan Saeed-Hamzatovich, born September 13, 1987

Malikov Rizwan Agdanovich, born January 6, 1990

Musk ICYE Turpalovich, born July 19, 1988

Muskhanov Temirlan Ahmadovich, born April 28, 1986

Ozdiev Usman Vahaevich, born December 24, 1989

Rashidov Doc Ibrahimovic, born May 30, 1995

Siriev Magomed Musaevich, born February 23, 1993

Soltahmanov Ismail Ezer-Aliyev, born March 30, 1994

Suleymanov Magomed Arbievich, born January 3, 1987

Tuchaev Ahmed Ramzanovich, born February 23, 1987

Habu Khamzat Slaudinovich born February 14, 1993

Khakimov Alvi Aslambekovich, born November 16, 1992

Hamidov Shamil Ahmedovich, born November 14, 1986

Tsikmaev Sultanovich Ayoub, born April 2, 1984

Shapiev Muslim Isaevich, born November 28, 1989

Eskarbiev Sayhan Vahamsoltovich, born May 23, 1992

Yusupov Sahab Marshak, born January 19, 1990

Yusupov Shamhan Shayhovich, born June 17, 1988


UN: Stop the Kidnapping and Torture of Gay Men in Chechnya:


References/Other Sources:

1.Russian authorities must investigate new allegations of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya. Amnesty International. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

2.Это была казнь. В ночь на 26 января в Грозном расстреляли десятки людей. Novaya Gazeta. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

3. Batchelor, Tom (1 May 2017). “Russian police round up LGBT activists demonstrating against persecution of gay men in Chechnya”The Independent. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

4.Kramer, Andrew E. (1 May 2017). “Russians Protesting Abuse of Gay Men in Chechnya Are Detained”The New York Times. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

5. “Information uncovered about a second prison for homosexuals in the Russian republic of Chechnya”

6.Smith, Lydia (10 April 2017). “Chechnya detains 100 gay men in first concentration camps since the Holocaust”International Business Times UK. Retrieved 16 April 2017.

7.Reynolds, Daniel (10 April 2017). “Report: Chechnya Is Torturing Gay Men in Concentration Camps”The Advocate. Retrieved 12 July2017.

8. Milashina, Elena (1 April 2017). “Murder of honor: the ambitions of a well-known LGBT activist awake a terrible ancient custom in Chechnya”. Retrieved 12 July 2017“Novaya Gazeta” became aware of mass detentions of residents of Chechnya in connection with their unconventional sexual orientation – or suspicion of such. At the moment, more than a hundred men have been informed of the detention. “Novaya Gazeta” knows the names of the three dead, but our sources say that there are many more victims.

9.Kramer, Andrew E. (1 April 2017). “Chechen Authorities Arresting and Killing Gay Men, Russian Paper Says”. Retrieved 12 July 2017 – via NYTimes.com.

10.Analysis – She broke the story of Chechnya’s anti-gay purge. Now, she says she has to flee Russia.”. Retrieved 12 July 2017.

11.“Reports Of New, Terrifying ‘Gay Concentration Camps’ Where Men Are Getting Tortured And Murdered”ELLE UK. 2017-04-13. Retrieved 12 July 2017.

12. Masha Gessen (3rd July 2017). The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge. New Yorker– Retrieved 12 July 2017.

13.Lizzie Dearden.Chechnya gay purge: Footage taken inside prison shows where men were ‘detained and tortured‘.The Independent. Retrieved 12th July 2017.

Featured Image Credit:A demonstrator holds up a picture depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin with make-up, during a protest by the gay community.Cris Toala Olivares/Reuters

After the pogrom, Turkish journalists are living in an absolute hell in a de facto dictatorship

‘Media cannot be silenced’

  • For the story, the tactics of MIT under Erdoganistan’s rule

Back in 2014, Serena Shim was an American journalist for Press TV. While covering the Siege of Kobanê as a war correspondent, she was allegedly killed in a car crash. Her employer called the accident “suspicious” as she was killed two days after Turkey allegedly accused her of spying.

She had reported that ISIL militants being smuggled over the Turkish border into Syria on trucks bearing the symbols of NGOs like the “World Food Organisation”. Shim, said on air she’s “a bit frightened” by what MİT “might use against me. While she was returning to Suruç with her driver and camera operator Judy Irish in a rental car when the car collided with a cement mixer. Shim survived the crash, but died of a heart attack after being taken to an undisclosed location. Her co-worker Irish was injured and taken to Suruç State Hospital.The vehicle driver was subsequently arrested.Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle “have disappeared” and her death is “suspicious”.

In 2015, Ahmet Hakan, a columnist for the daily Hürriyet newspaper and high-profile TV host for CNN Türk, was attacked and beaten along with his bodyguard shortly after midnight Oct. 1 by four men who had followed him home, the Istanbul-based newspaper said. Hakan was hospitalized with broken ribs and a broken nose.

Police have detained the four suspects involved in the assault, which Hürriyet’s editor-in-chief said was “an organized, planned attack.” Three of the four  were members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) founded by  Erdogan. The three were expelled from the party Oct. 2, Hürriyet reported.

In May of 2014, Yusuf Yerkel, a senior Turkish government advisor, injured his leg. He’d been kicking a man protesting the prime minister’s response to the worst the worst mining accident in the country’s history. To Yerkel’s embarrassment, the moment was caught by a Reuters photographer, meaning the entire world got the chance to witness that moment. Yet on Dec. 8, the Official Gazette reported that Latuff’s website was banned and could no longer be accessed in Turkey.

An İstanbul court, last month, decided to release, pending trial, Murat Şahin, who was arrested for attacking Turkish journalist Can Dündar with a gun in May, the state-run Anadolu news agency has reported.

Şahin approached Dündar as he was speaking to reporters during a break in a hearing on May 6 outside İstanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse, firing two shots at the journalist’s legs while shouting, “You are a traitor.”

  • Turkey detains opposition Cumhuriyet journalists

As of October 14, 2016, 127 reporters, editors and columnists are under arrest.The 31st of October was again a Black Monday for the Turkish Media. Detention orders were issued for 13 staff members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, with 11 detained in raids, including the editor-in-chief according to Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu Ajansi.

The newspaper, which had published revelations embarrassing for the government, said at least a dozen journalists and executives were detained in early morning raids.

The detentions come after Turkish authorities fired more than 10,000 civil servants at the weekend and closed 15 pro-Kurdish and other media outlets, the latest purge since July’s failed military coup.


Cumhuriyet‘s editor Murat Sabuncu was detained and police were hunting for executive board chairman Akin Atalay, the official news agency Anadolu said.

The Istanbul prosecutor said an investigation had been launched into allegations the secular daily’s output was “legitimising” the attempted putsch.Cumhuriyet said an arrest warrant was also issued for its former editor-in-chief Can Dundar, who was sentenced to jail in May for allegedly revealing state secrets in a high-profile case that triggered alarm about the state of press freedom in Turkey.Dundar is now believed to be in Germany after he was freed earlier this year pending an appeal.

Euronews correspondent Sandor Zsiros caught with him at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France last week.

This is the worst period of time in our history for the media and the journalists. We’ve been suffering a lot. It was not better before the military intervention attempt but after that it’s really hell. And Turkey became the biggest prison for journalists and only a couple of papers and just one TV station have been left and suffering and struggling. This is more or less the position of Turkish press and Europe should of course support the struggle of the journalists at the moment and should stop the aggression of the Turkish government by using all kind of means but unfortunately they are a bit reluctant to support the journalists and to give a clear sign to the Turkish government.

The newspaper had accused the government of seeking to illicitly deliver arms bound for Islamist rebels in Syria. Erdoğan had warned Dundar he would “pay a heavy price”.

  • Reactions

In response to yesterday’s detention of 11 journalists and staff from Cumhuriyet newspaper and the shutting down of 15 media outlets over the weekend, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, said:

“Today’s detention of journalists and staff from Turkey’s only remaining mainstream opposition newspaper is part of an ongoing systematic attempt to silence all critical voices. Together with the shutting down of media houses over the weekend, this is the latest wave in a post-coup purge which has turned Turkey’s once vibrant media landscape into a wasteland.”

“The blatant misuse of emergency powers to shut down media houses must stop and more than 130 journalists currently in pre-trial detention must be immediately released.”

The Istanbul prosecutor said in a statement quoted by media that the newspaper and its owner the Cumhuriyet Foundation were being investigated over whether they committed crimes on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu visited Cumhuriyet’s Ankara Bureau to express his support and solidarity with the newspaper, which is targeted over alleged “links with terror organizations.”

In a statement issued after his visit to Cumhuriyet, the CHP head slammed the government for “turning the July 15 coup attempt into an opportunity to crack down on intellectuals, writers and journalists.”

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is building its own “Baathist regime,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, adding that Turkey is fast “moving away from democracy.”

“They are trying to change the constitutional order through state of emergency decree laws. A big responsibility is on the shoulders of the Constitutional Court. If it had accepted our appeal [for the annulment of decree laws breaching the constitution], none of this would have happened,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Describing Cumhuriyet as one of Turkey’s most important newspapers, he called on all intellectuals, journalists, writers to defend the newspapers against oppressors.

“Don’t forget that if you keep silent now, you will be next,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Reacting to the raids, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert and the French foreign ministry urged the protection of press freedom.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz said the “ongoing massive purge” seemed to be “motivated by political considerations, rather than legal and security rationale”.

The World’s Policeman ,the United States  said it was “deeply concerned” about Turkey’s continuing pressure on opposition news media.(Reuters)

“This is a dark day for the media in Turkey,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “The Turkish government is trying to eradicate every alternative source of information and opinion by labeling anyone who challenges it a terrorist. We call on the government to immediately release Cumhuriyet staff, directors, and all journalists jailed on trumped-up charges and to reverse all its orders silencing Turkey’s independent media.”

*Pogrom : "figurative use of the word on this article": an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group, in particular that of Jews in Russia or eastern Europe.The Istanbul pogrom, also known as the Istanbul riots or September events were organized mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority on 6–7 September 1955.
  • Based mainly in Sources: European Parliament, Euronews, Euractiv, Reuters, Amnesty International and of course a big part of this article was based on Hurriyet Daily News articles and analyses since 2014.

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