“They tied wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me,” says a gay man who escaped from a concentration camp in Chechnya
CNN has interviewed two men who managed to escape from the concentration camps that Chechen authorities have reportedly set up to detain gay men in Chechnya.
The men, who chose to be interviewed on the condition of complete anonymity, shed some light on the anti-LGBT Russian territory.
“My car got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint,” says ‘Ahmed’* one of the men who escaped, “and they asked me for my documents. They looked at them and then said: ‘We are taking you.'”
Another anonymous man spoke of the torture he endured at one of these camps.
“They started beating me with their fists and feet,” he says. “They wanted to get names of my gay friends from me.”
“Then they tied wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me. They’ve got special equipment that is very powerful. When they shock you, you jump high above the ground.”
The official response from a spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is that the persecution of gay men in his country could not be possible because gay men “just don’t exist” in Chechnya.
Watch the full report from CNN below.
The Kremlin has also denied any knowledge of this appalling treatment of the LGBT community in Chechnya.
In an opinion article, Rob Buchanan cautioned the LGBT community in Ireland against being complacent in the face of Chechnya’s infringement on basic human rights.
For those who want to take action to help LGBT people in Chechnya, there are three things that you can do here and next week there will be a drag show and table quiz raising funds for the Russian LGBT Network called DRAG AID for Chechnya
A Russian human rights activist revealed more details about the events which led to this ‘gay purge’ indicating that it was the arrest of a drug dealer who happened to have gay dating apps on his phone that launched this anti-gay crusade.
*The name has been changed to protect the person’s identity.