Words: Steve Brown
Four men have revealed the extent of the anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya after being illegally detained, beaten and even raped by police.
While speaking to Human Rights Watch, the men revealed they were detained between December last year and February this year as a new wave of attacks on the LGBTQ community were reported back in January.
Earlier this year, the Russian LGBT Network – which has been monitoring the situation and helping victims of the anti-gay purge – said that around 40 men and women have been detained on suspicion of being gay since December.
At least two of them died of torture.
Back in 2017, it was reported that more than 100 gay men were arrested, tortured and killed in the predominately Muslim region of Russia and when Chechen authorities denied the accusations, a probe found nothing to support the reports.
And now, a group of men have revealed they have been kicked, beaten with sticks and pipes by police and three of the four men had been tortured with electric shocks.
One of the men said: “They made me kneel on the floor and put metal clips on my thumbs, he turned the knob [of the electric shock device], first slowly and then faster and faster… With every turn, my hands bounced up and excruciating pain went through them.”
One of the victims also revealed he was raped with a stick by police officers.
They were also tortured and demanded that they identify other gay men and one of them had their sexuality exposed to his family and encouraged them to kill him.
They weren’t given food and only had limited access to water while in custody.