As information continues to circulate about the mass rounding up and detaining of gay men in Chechnya, Baroness Anelay has released a statement calling on Russian Federation to investigate the claims.
First, two television reporters vanished.
"Some of the men have forcibly disappeared".
According to an April 1 article in Novaya Gazeta (link in Russian), Chechnya's only independent publication, several people living in Chechnya had been held in camps due to their actual or suspected sexual orientation. Meanwhile, Novoya Gazetaon reported that authorities have set up many concentration camps where homosexuals are being killed or forced to promise that they would leave the Chechen Republic.
One man who was let go said he was subjected to violence at the camp, with officials trying to force him to reveal the identities and locations of other gay men.
"Those who have escaped said they are detained in the same room and people are kept altogether, around 30 or 40".
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Poplevskaia said that while the Russian LGBT Network has documented hundreds of hate crimes per year, they've never seen anything like this.
"You can't detain and repress people who simply don't exist in the republic", he said.
Prior to the State Department's statement, OutRight Action International condemned the situation and called for a stop to the "killings and persecution of gays in Chechnya".
The Kremlin-backed Kadyrov is widely accused of extensive human rights violations.
Chechnya is a majority-Muslim republic and federal subdivision of Russia in the country's far south-west, and has been the point of much internal Russian conflict. In fact, the Russian leader hand-picked and installed Ramzan Kadyrov as president a decade ago.
A spokesman for Chechen leader Kadyrov, who is a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, denied that any such activities have taken place. The Facebook description of the event does its best to ensure authorities that the demonstration will be both lawful and peaceful, although history has proven that these types of protests often get out of hand and lead to arrests and detainment, or police having to disperse the crowd due to public safety issues.