Detained, tortured, killed: How Chechnya cracked down on gays

A piece in The Moscow Times details the recent crackdown in Chechnya in which more than 100 gay men were brutally detained and at least three were killed. Chechen security forces would capture suspected gay men, take them to secret prisons and torture them to obtain information on other gay men. Often, the Chechen forces would go through the victims’ phones to find evidence of their sexual orientation or to identify other targets for capture. Some of the detainees were freed after they incriminated others or their families paid an enormous ransom. Once freed, the gay men risk becoming victims of honor killings in which their relatives try to rid the shame of having a gay member of the family. The motives for the recent crackdown remain murky, but under the rule of Islamist strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, gays in Chechnya live in fear and have few, if any, rights.


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