epa05917734 A demonstrator holders a placard depicting Russian president Vladimir Putin with the label 'Stop Homophobia', to denounce the anti-gay campaign launched in the Russian province of Chechnya, during a protest held on Place de la Republique in Paris, France, 20 April 2017. Several dozen men suspected of being homosexuals have been rounded up and detained by authorities in Chechnya, with at least three men allegedly killed so far. EPA/IAN LANGSDON

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has published a report on the unlawful rounding up of more than 100 Chechen men suspected of homosexuality. The case gained global media attention and considerable public support. Hundreds of people in Europe, America and Australia protested against “gay concentration camps” and “gay genocide” in Chechnya, while thousands signed the petitions of Russian LGBTQ activists and Amnesty International. Three French LGBTQ organisations filed an official complaint to the International Criminal Court against Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
After Chechen spokesmen threatened journalists covering the purge and foreign governments began condemning it, the Russian government opened an official investigation. Western countries, meanwhle, have started accepting Chechen refugees.
In this context, the HRW report is of utmost importance. It begins with a detailed account of how, with the Kremlin’s support and permission, Kadyrov has built a tyrannical, autocratic regime that violates dissenters’ human rights in various ways. Abduction-style detentions, …