Just as many deny the Holocaust happened, now the deniers are coming out of eastern Europe saying the gay concentration camps do not exist.
"So-called human rights activists make up all sorts of nonsense for money," said Chechnya President Ramzan Kadyrov. Chechnya is a major European hub for prosecution of gays.
News of the concentration camps came out in 2017. Russian media outlets and human rights groups brought word of this to the west. In Chechnya, the media is state-controlled and opposition outlets are not permitted, so getting confirmation from the government there is impossible.
President Kadyrov added, "That's all an invention by foreign agents who are paid a few kopecks." A kopeck, better known as the ruble, is the currency in Chechnya. One kopeck is worth less than two cents US.
President Kadyrov went so far as to deny homosexuals even exist in his region. His language was strikingly familiar to denials from Middle Eastern countries. He said, "If there were such people in Chechnya, the law enforcement organs wouldn't need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning."
His denial went a step further last summer when he said, "If there are any gays, take them away from us. To purify our blood, if there are any, take them."
Russian media has posted many stories about the persecution of gays in the region. A few people who have escaped from the area reported on the torture they experienced. At least one, Mover Eskarkhanov, was badgered into apologizing for his reports of torture and denied he is gay.
While free from the despots in Chechnya, Eskarkhanov has family who remained. He lives in Germany. "They made it clear that if I continued to talk, there would be problems. They said I must first think about my family," he told journalists.
Others who also escaped and have no family to be worried about have stuck to their stories of torture and abuse.
Protests in Western Europe, particularly in the UK and Russia, have brought some attention to the plight. Protests in the US are sparse. Just a few US senators are pressing for diplomatic action.