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Serbian Activists Protest Alleged Abuse Of Gays In Chechnya

Serbian activists protesting against the alleged abuse of gay men in Chechnya in front of the Russian embassy in Belgrade

Serbian activists for gay and lesbian rights organized a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Belgrade on April 26 to protest the abuse of gay men in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Standing in silence, twenty activists held a rainbow flag and banners written in Serbian, Russian, and English with messages such as "Prison for (Vladimir) Putin and (Ramzan) Kadyrov," "LGBT rights are human rights," "Solidarity with the oppressed in Russia," and " Stop the violence against LGBT."

According to media reports, the Chechen authorities have detained more than 100 gay men and held some in a camps where they were subject to beatings and torture. At least three were killed and many have sought to escape Chechnya.

While international watchdogs such as Human Rights Watch have corroborated the allegations, the authorities in Chechnya, headed by strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, have denied them.

The protest in Belgrade was monitored by police officers but it ended peacefully.