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“If my family finds out I’m gay, then no authorities, no troops are needed. They will kill me themselves.” A gay Chechen man.

This sounds too familiar. If you have been following international news recently, you probably came across this story:

Reports of human rights abuses in Chechnya

In 2017, in this day and age, religious fanatics are still killing innocent people. So, from what I understand, the Russian authorities in the Republic of Chechnya, which is a Muslim stronghold has been imprisoning gay men or men assumed to be gay and torturing them in detention centers.

This might sound normal coming out of Russia. But Russia is not the only place where this kind of violence is happening. I’ve heard so many stories of gay men being killed in my country. So many killed without a trace – without an effort from law enforcement to investigate the killing. The label ‘gay’ removes legitimacy from such cases. Families refuse to pay for their children burial. If you are gay, then you are a scourge to the grave.

Living in America has taken my mind off so many things and for some time. I think that I have come to take some things for granted, like safety and peace of mind. Elsewhere in the world, this kind of ‘privilege’ is still a figment of the imagination.

Maybe if I had stayed in Jamaica, I would have waited hopelessly for the United Nations and the American Government to come to my aid. So much is wrong with the world. The good guys aren’t even allowed anymore to speak up for the oppressed.

Waking up this morning must be one of the hardest things to do while living in Chechnya. It’s plain simply sad. I’m hoping someone steps in and do something about what is happening there. I’m hoping something changes.

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