After news came out that Chechnya is torturing gay men in concentration camps, GLAAD is calling on Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to investigate the reports that at least 100 men have been arrested and three killed, and to condemn the violence.
“It is beyond horrific for a country to proactively target, arrest, and abuse LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, in a prepared statement. “U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley must condemn this humanitarian crisis. As the leader of the free world, we can’t watch in silence as the world slips back to an era we should never go back to.”
Leaders from the region continue to deny the reports, saying that gay people do not exist in Chechnya, a Russian-controlled republic. "You cannot arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic," said Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, told Interfax news agency.
The U.S. State Department condemned the killings last week. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Russia today, but it remains to be seen whether he will bring up the killings in meetings with Russian officials.
Protesters are gathering Wednesday in London outside the Russian embassy to protest the antigay violence.