2 Gay Men Open Up About Alleged Torture In Chechnya
Two men from Chechnya have told Reuters they were detained by police and subjected to torture and beatings because they were gay, which is considered a crime by some in their deeply conservative region of Russia.
The two have since fled mainly Muslim Chechnya, but they still fear being hunted down and persecuted. They spoke to Reuters on condition that their real names were not used, and their voices and faces disguised.
One of the men, who gave his name as Anzor, said he had been detained by police as he was driving in the company of other men from a Chechen village to the Caucasus region’s capital Grozny in February.
“They found some medicine on one of the guys,” he told Reuters Television. Seeing his rings and bracelets, the policemen asked if he was “a faggot” and beat him severely, the man said in an interview.
“Then they … forced me to tie a cable to my little toe and to my little finger. I was forced to do it myself, to attach the wires. And then they started using electric shocks,” he said.
The accounts that the two men gave could not be independently verified by Reuters. They fit in, however, with a pattern of persecution described by other sources.
Chechnya’s Moscow-backed president Ramzan Kadyrov denies human rights are routinely flouted in the region. His spokesman has said there could be no attacks on gay men because there were no such people in Chechnya.
The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in April that authorities in Chechnya had rounded up over 100 gay men or men believed to be gay and tortured them. At least three of the […]