Gay men in Chechnya recall horrific accounts of torture and electrocution

CNN

Gay men in the region are coming forward to speak out against the government’s horrific abuse towards sexual minorities.

Respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported last month that around 100 gay men had been rounded up by police and detained in what is widely being referred to as a modern-day ‘concentration camp’.

Three men are feared dead after violent raids, as authorities targeted men “in connection with their non-traditional sexual orientation, or suspicion of such”.

Human Rights Watch later confirmed the horrific reports, adding that the information coming through was “consistent” with “numerous trusted sources” they had spoken to on the ground in Russia.

Now, two men have come forward to CNN to recall their traumatic experience being detained and abused in Chechnya.

“My car got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint, and they asked me for my documents,” a man referred to as Ahmed in order to protect his real identity, said. “They looked at them then said ‘We are taking you.’”

A second man added: “They started beating me with their fists and feet. They wanted to get names of my gay friends from me.

“They tired wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me. They’ve got special equipment which is very powerful. When they shock you, you jump high above the ground.

But it’s not just the authorities that LGBT+ people in Chechnya fear. It’s their own families too.

Government.ru

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

The Chechen government, as well as its leader Ramzan Kadyrov, keep denying the allegations of abuse, and in some cases the killing of gay men in the region.

They maintain that they can’t abuse homosexual men as gay people “do not exist” in Chechnya.

Hundreds protested outside the Russian Embassy in London last week to urge the British government to help end oppression against LGBT+ people in Chechnya.

Former US Vice President Joe Biden has also called on current US President Donald Trump to help bring an end anti-LGBT abuse in Chechnya.

Related: Why does mainstream media consider Chechnya’s torturing of gay men ‘not really news’?


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