The Chechen authorities have unleashed a new wave of homophobic attacks since the end of December 2018. At least 40 people believed to be gay or lesbian have been arbitrarily detained and tortured in Chechnya, a republic in the south of Russia.
Around 40 individuals have reportedly been detained in a government building in the city of Argun, where they have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. At least two individuals are reported to have died after being tortured, but the actual number of victims may be higher. The authorities are also said to be destroying the individuals’ passports. This makes it difficult for them to flee Chechnya in the future. The Russian authorities’ failure to investigate the 2017 attacks - which involved the abduction and killing of 100 gay men and women and for which no one has yet been held accountable - has enabled this homophobic crackdown to resume.