The international calls to end the cruelties and human rights violations within Chechnya have restarted after a 19-year-old was forced to sodomize himself in front of a camera.
According to the Daily Beast, 19-year-old Salman Tepsurkayev recently released a disturbing “apology” video after moderating an anti-Chechen government channel on the messaging app Telegram. Through the channel, called 1ADAT, Tepsurkayev and his associates would condemn the Chechen government for torturing citizens, specifically gay citizens, and the Russian government for not actively investigating or stopping the crimes happening within its territory. But again, that channel eventually got the wrong kind of attention.
In a now-infamous video, Tepsurkayyev, who had been detained earlier this month for his online activity, is seen apologizing for being critical of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The teenager is then seen sodomizing himself by sitting onto an empty bottle.
After the video was posted online, the issue went viral in Russia and then around the world. This has caused a renewal of calls to action about the human atrocities happening within the Russian Federation.
“People are furious, many call to take up weapons; I can also see posts of other nationals in Northern Caucasus saying that if Chechens tolerate this, they have been morally murdered,” said Ekaterina Sokirianskaya, director of The Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center, to The Daily Beast.
“Chechen women and men said they felt sick, shocked, humiliated; many did not know how to continue their life with dignity,” Sokirianskaya added. “The Kremlin officials should realize how much Chechen people respect traditions, many take this public rape allegedly forced by authorities personally, such horrible violation is a provocation of violence.”
According to the BBC, the Chechen government commented that the video in question was “unacceptable” but that they are not investigating. Their explanation for why is that Tepsurkayev did not come forward with a complaint. Though, there’s currently no word on the teenager’s whereabouts.
While condemning Chechnya for its human rights atrocities, no international governments have acted to correct the situation. The U.S., for instance, has blacklisted Kadyrov and imposed a series of sanctions on Chechnya, according to the Washington Post. That said, no countries have dared to make direct and outward actions against the government and it’s human rights violations. This is most likely due to Russia standing behind Chechnya’s back. Though, small and local organizations like the Russian LGBT Network have tried their best to help Chechen citizens under attack escape the country.