Two Gay Men From Chechnya Share New First Hand Torture Accounts
Two gay men from Chechnya have provided new first hand accounts of their torture and detainment by police in the region for being gay.
The men spoke to Reuters on the condition that their real names would not be used. Their faces and voices were also 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.
Regarding the second account:
The second Chechen man, who gave his name as Ramzan, said he had been detained by police in April and told to give the names, addresses and work places of his gay contacts. He was beaten when he declined to obey, he said.
He was saved from more serious torture by saying that one of his uncles was a law enforcement officer, he said. But that put his life in danger after police handed him over to relatives who handcuffed him to a radiator in a village house.
"There was only one thing left to do: to get rid of me. Because it was such a shame for a military family, for a rather big family. We (in Chechnya) have only one way to resolve this."
He said he managed to escape with the help of his sister.
According to Reuters:
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.