A new short film about the plight of gay men in Chechnya aims to raise awareness about the increasingly dire situation.
Unchechen is just under four minutes, and tells the story of Khamzat, a public servant who was entrapped and interrogated.
Related: Chechnya authorities to parents: “Kill your gay sons or we will”
“I’m sickened by what’s happening in Chechnya,” says Alex Markham, Director of digitalSTAGE.
“But, like a lot of people, I felt impotent. I wanted to do something immediate and practical to offer solidarity. I hope this film will get people donating to help some more of these men get to safety.”
“The State organized extermination of gay men in Chechnya is a horrific ghost from World War Two,” says writer and director Stephen M. Hornby.
Related: New video details horrifying accounts of gay Chechen survivors
“But it’s real. The men fleeing from it are too terrified to go on camera, and so I wanted to try to fill the silence with something that attempts to make this crisis real and human.
This is an emotional story to connect people to what’s happening and hopefully stimulate a response.”
According to Human Rights Frist’s Shawn Gaylord:
“Gay men are being treated like animals. They’re rounded up, they’re detained, they’re tortured, a few have been murdered. All of this has been inflicted upon them by the very people sworn to protect them. The world needs to act. We’re calling on the administration and Congress to speak out against these horrific human rights abuses. The stories coming from those lucky enough to survive and make it out are harrowing. We felt that by sharing them we could put this nightmare in perspective for the many people that have only read about it in a newspaper. We partnered with gay Russian men from the Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association because who better to share these accounts than those who have fled similar persecution. Our hope is that this will drive action, our hope is that it will help achieve justice.”
This is horrific. The holocaust happening all over again. For all of those Log Cabin Republicans, I wonder if they’ll be waving their Trump “Make America Great Again” caps as Trump, Gorsuch, Sessions et al are wheeling them and every other gay person in America to internment prison camps or worse…
Another clueless liberal projecting radical Muslim atrocities onto conservative Americans.
Fear-mongering . . . the last bastion of political desperation.
This is happening in the Muslim country known as the Republic of Chechnya. It’s not happening here in the United States even though you are living in fear/fear mongering and have bought the BS that somehow Republicans or anyone that’s not a Democrat wants to put LGBT people into concentration camps; but this would not be an LGBT site unless some foolish queen projected his Holocaust fantasies and went on with fearmongering about how the Republican party is akin to (in their feeble mind) fascism, Hitler, etc. Study world history and political science more.
I just look at today’s republicans and their frothing at the mouth supporters. Not hard at all to imagine a similar outcome here.
I mostly just see a bunch of Americans pretending something is personally happening to them. Turning yourself into a victim online hardly helps the people who are actually in danger around the world.
You are grossly missing the point! This will create more awareness of what’s going on there. I agree that more should be done, but I applaud this attempt to make more people aware of the atrocities of what is happening in Chechnya.
Exactly. But they are ignoring the elephant in the room that this is happening since Chechnya is a Muslim country.
Well, enough people are “turning themselves into victims online” to keep this in the public conscience and thus shaming them which seems to be having an effect.
I’ve seen many posts which are merely factual, express sympathy/concern and do not attempt to present themselves as part of the tragedy. It’s rare that I see the type of post you describe.
Keeping this in the public consciousness on social media is important because it’s clearly not a priority for our government right now.
It’s really tiring, all these re-enactments of something that supposedly happens in Chechnya. But why not show actual victims, especially those who could escape. And why then not re-enact executions of gays in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen et al. That should be even more sensational and melodramatic!
Because of the five countries you mentioned, only one of them has a majority Christian population, and that is Nigeria, and even then, over 40% of Nigerians are Muslim, whereas Sudan, Yemen, Iran, and Iraq are Islamic. Chechnya is a special little beast because it’s an Islamic country, but is also WHITE, which throws a monkey wrench into that whole Islam=Race rhetoric. Obviously, Putin’s anti-gay rhetoric and archaic laws have fueled much of the terror inflicted on gay men in Chechnya, but let’s not kid ourselves into ignoring the underlying pattern you see with these countries and their horrid despicable treatment of LGBT people, namely gay men and trans women.
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