Chechnya: What is happening with gay people in Chechnya?

LGBT rights have been steadily improving around the world, but sadly such progress is not linear, nor global, and nothing highlights that more than the shocking persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

Without the same media freedoms enjoyed elsewhere, it’s hard to know exactly what’s happening in the Chechen Republic, but below we round up the most credible reports and ask how we can best help the community there.

Where is Chechnya?

Formally the Chechen Republic, Chechnya is in the North Caucus – situated between the Sea of Azov and Black Sea on the west and the Caspian Sea on the east, within European Russia. Previously part of the Soviet Union, it became part of the Russian Federation in 1991.

It secured de facto independence 1996 after the bloody First Chechen War, but the Russian Federation regained control at the turn of the century at the end of the Second Chechen War. There is still some separatist unrest, but Chechnya is now a federal republic.

Is gay sex illegal in Chechnya?

Chechnya is part of Russia, and despite countless anti-LGBT laws there, same-sex sexual activity in private between consenting adults was decriminalised in 1993 after the fall of the Soviet Union. However, Chechnya’s semi-autonomous status means that it retains own legal code on some issues. Read more via Pink News