The young man was detained and tortured for several days.
The head of the local Interior Ministry dismissed the earlier report as a “bad April Fools’ joke,” while the spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s strongman leader, claimed there were no homosexuals in Chechnya.
If they did exist, the spokesman argued, detentions would be unnecessary as relatives themselves would “send them somewhere they wouldn’t return from.” However, the watchdog group Human Rights Watch says they have received information corroborating the detentions and inhumane treatment and have demanded that Russian authorities “resolutely condemn attacks against LGBT people in Chechnya and ensure safety and justice for the victims.” Similarly, the U. State Department issued a statement on 7 April responding to what were termed “numerous credible reports” that the Republic of Chechnya had detained at least 100 LGBTI people, some of whom had allegedly been tortured and killed.
People in the “Terek” uniform (Special Rapid Response Team) put a young man in a car and took to an unknown location.
Family was not informed about the reasons of detention.
reported that men in the Republic of Chechnya accused of being gay had been “illegally detained, beaten, tortured with electric shocks” and held for ransom in “secret prisons” around Chechnya, including a former military facility in the town of Argun.
Some of the detainees were believed to have died at the hands of security forces.
“We should always be careful about using the language of ‘concentration camps,'” AI spokesperson Alexander Artemyev said.
Artemyev also noted that not all the detainees have been men suspected of being gay: According to a Novaya Gazeta report, men believed to be gay are kept in a former police station (compound) near Argun. Among those who are allegedly detained are not only men perceived to be gay, but also suspected sympathizers of the armed group calling itself “Islamic State” and suspected drug users. He wanted to reside there, but did not manage to get a job, and was going to return to Chechnya in the middle of March.
Amnesty International isn’t able to independently verify the allegations made by Novaya Gazeta. He tried to reach his friend back in Chechnya, but failed.
In a week, his friend contacted him and told him, that he had been just released.
Another one person who contacted the Network reported that his acquaintance was also detained on suspicion of homosexuality.