Friday, January 19, 2024

LGBTQ organization helps Chechen gay man escape Russia after being tortured


Russian LGBTQ rights organization SOS Crisis Group reported that Rizvan Dadaev, a Chechen who was detained due to his sexual orientation, managed to escape from Russia with assistance from the organization after being tortured. 

Rizvan, a resident of Chechnya’s capital Grozny, reportedly faced detention and torture due to his sexual orientation. Extortionists recorded a video of Rizvan being interrogated about his personal life and posted it online. 

Rizvan was subsequently apprehended by the police a week later, taken to a police station’s basement and subjected to torture, including beatings and electric shocks. 

The police station’s head, Denis Aidamirov, a relative of Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov, reportedly played a role in the violence. Rizvan spent over three months in the basement with about 90 others, all tortured for various offenses.

SOS’s Investigative Committee received a plea for help from a friend of Rizvan six months after his apprehension, setting a successful plan to evacuate him from Russia in motion.

In 2017, Rizvan had already been detained and tortured by the police. At that time, state persecutions of gay people had just begun in Chechnya. Rizvan became one of the numerous victims arrested and tortured by the police for their sexual identity.

Chechen police, allegedly supported by high-ranking authorities, carried out a harsh campaign against men suspected of being gay or bisexual. This involved beatings and humiliation and victims experienced disappearances, as detailed in a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

You can support SOS Crisis Group with a donation here.

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