"It's politics. It has nothing to do with people. " The statement is added Vladimir Putin i Welcome to Chechnya as an explanation of how a number of systematic abuse against LGBT people can be carried out by the authorities of one of Russia's republics without the Russian president lifting a finger.

When the terrorism in Chechnya increased in the early 2000s, Putin joined a pro-Russian regime Ramzan Kadyrov in the tip. As a thank you for the loyalty, Kadyrov got free hands to govern his country as he wished. The irresponsibility was total and allowed a brutal pursuit of gays with disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions in the corrupt, ultra-conservative and Islam-dominated republic.

Details of the persecution have leaked, despite the regime's (usually) effective methods of controlling the people.

The persecution started in 2017, and now American David France is bringing the atrocities to the public. France has worked on LGBT issues as both a documentary and grave journalist, and Welcome to Chechnya has become an outrageous and important film with screenings at Sundance Film Festival and Berlin.

The horrors of the regime

The excitement is high when we see refugee people and their dangerous journeys out of the country and towards a secret hiding place. We get to feel a bit of the all-consuming fear of a regime notorious for perpetrating atrocities far beyond our own borders.

The documentary is intense, intimate and emotional – but just as straightforward as it shows us what Putin and his co-conspirators will not admit: that persecuted people has everything to do with politics – an inhuman policy.

David Isteev and Olga Baranova are activists in the Russian LGBT network, an organization that works for. . .

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