SUPPORT for gay and bisexual men in Chechnya continues to grow, with protests taking place worldwide and even hookup app Grindr lending a hand.

Actor Ian McKellen joined a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London last week, Gay Star News has reported.

The protest, calling on Russian authorities to properly investigate the alleged persecution of queer men in Chechnya, was organised by Stonewall and Amnesty International. Similar events took place in 27 countries.

Amnesty International has led the global movement to protect queer men in Chechnya, where a purge has reportedly involved torture and killings in concentration camps.

Chechen authorities have continually denied the persecution is happening, on the grounds that there are no gay people in the region.

“Russia has become increasingly hostile for gay, bi, lesbian and trans people, and this truly shocking crackdown in Chechnya has taken things to a frightening new level,” said Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen.

“Perhaps the Russian authorities will drop their ludicrous claim that gay people in Chechnya don’t exist when they see the crowds outside Russian embassies around the world.”

Grindr for Equality—“an ever-evolving mission to promote justice, health, safety, and more for LGBTQ individuals around the globe”—has joined with the Russian LGBT Network to distribute a hotline number and email addresses for aid and evacuation in Chechnya.

Grindr is using its reach in the area to update users who may be in danger with safety messages and news sources. The app is also asking users worldwide to sign a petition and make donations.

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