“Detainees describe being beaten with sticks, forced to sit on bottles, and electrocuted”
Earlier this week, reports of over 100 gay men disappearing off Chechen streets began to surface and were later confirmed by a Russian independent newspapers.
Today these reports are followed up by accounts from detainees of a secret prison where suspected gay men have been taken, tortured, and in some cases killed.
According to a report in the Independent,
“Some detainees told Novaya Gazeta they were tortured and electrocuted while they were imprisoned, and others described seeing prisoners beaten to death.
The paper’s initial report was denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman, who called it “absolute lies and disinformation” and suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region.
“Several times a day we were taken out and beaten,” he said. “Their main aim was to find out your circle of contacts — in their minds if you are a suspect then your circle of contacts are all gay. They kept our phones switched on. Any man who calls or texts is a new target.”
The detainee also described being beaten with a plastic pipe: “They always hit us below the waist — on the thighs, the buttocks, the loins. They said we were dogs who had no right to life.”
An online petition has been started calling for justice for the 100 men arrested in Chechnya
(main photo credit: REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk )