Homosexuals have two undesirable choices in Chechyna, a Republic of Russia: forced to pledge to leave the place where their kind are not welcome, or worse get killed.
In surprising modern day news, Chechyna reportedly has opened the first concentration camp for gay people since the time of Hitler. Activists say homosexuals in such brutal camps are being tortured with electric shocks, and beaten to death.
Claims have it that 100 gay men are detained in the camps and three have been murdered in Chechyna last week.
A report by Novoya Gazeta said authorities have set up one of the camps at the former military headquarters in the town of Argun. A campaigner, Svetlana Zakharova from the Russian LGBT Network, has spoken with European media and said that they have been working to free gay people who have been rounded up and detained in those camps. Some were able to escape from the camps and leave the region. They shared horror stories of gay people numbering to anywhere between 30-40 being made to stay in just one room all together. The victims were said to have been tortured with electric currents and brutally beaten, and at its worst, even beaten to death.
An escapee told Novoya Gazata that prisoners were being cruelly beaten to force them to reveal fellow gays they know within their communities or circles, an old war torture method to know who the 'enemies' are.
Another former detainee who managed to flee said that before being imprisoned in one of the camps, he had been forced to shell out bribe money to Chechen police in the amount of thousand of rubles every month in order to survive.
Amnesty International's Alexander Artemyev based in Russia said they can only ask the Russian authorities to investigate the allegations at the very least. He said that homosexuals in Chechyna are treated harshly and persecuted daily simply for being gays. Most of them are afraid to talk about their horrible situation.
The campaigners want to help find shelters for the gay people in that part of Russia whose lives are in danger. The biggest challenge for them, however, is the inability of many victims to talk out of fear that it will put their lives -and those they talk to- at even greater risk.
Activists groups say homosexuals now live under a climate of fear as a brutal campaign against LGBT people has been sweeping through Chechnya. Most are afraid to talk to human rights advocates alike and have been reduced to silence.
Filing an official complaint against local security officials is not much of an option either as it exposes the victims to more danger of retaliation from the authorities.
The activists are crying that extreme and intense homophobia in Chechnya is making homosexuals very vulnerable, not only of persecution by state authorities but even from becoming victims of honor killing as well by their own families and relatives for "damaging the family's honor".
Just last week, the local police rounded up 100 men suspected of being gay and killed three. Among those reportedly detained are popular local television personalities and religious figures.
President Razman Kadyrov, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, denies that his regime is officially behind the arrests and claims that it is "impossible" for his government to persecute those who are not in the republic. He called the allegations as absolute lies and disinformation.
Kadyrov has been previously accused of human rights violations. He introduced Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority region. Chechen society is strictly conservative, too.
Gay men in the region are reportedly deleting their social media accounts as there were speculations that authorities are using their profiles on social media to lure some of them into going out on dates with men, and make the arrests should the fake dates materialize. Suspected gay men who were arrested are said to be within the age range of 15-50.