Being an openly LGBTQ person in Chechnya is risky as many people are subjected to great injustices because of their sexuality. Image via The Fight Mag.
A bisexual Russian man who has since fled to a safe country was subjected to torture because he attempted to find evidence of the anti-LGBTQ purge happening in Chechnya, according to Gay Star News.
LGBTQ people in Chechnya are being detained, beaten, and humiliated because of their sexuality and one man named Elbrus and his friends were looking for any evidence that points to a possible genocide of gay people in Chechnya. Elbrus was not directly involved in this evidence-finding expedition but his friends showed him documents and videos of burials and graves that the filmed while in Chechnya.
Last May his friend Marat asked to use Elbrus’ car so that he can do business in the city of Karachaevsk and in the Karachay-Cherkessia Republic. But Marat has never come back, as Elbrus noticed his car was returned the day after it was borrowed but he did not notice Marat in it. Shortly after that discover, Elbrus was kidnapped by officers and they demanded that he destroy all evidence of what was found by his friends. It is extremely frightening to know that this type of thing is happening again (think of 1940s Germany and Poland) and that people are literally kidnapped and tortured because they’re exercising their right to exist as themselves and for trying to uncover a horrible truth.
After being held captive for almost five months, Elbrus was eventually set free and he fled from Moscow to Belgrade and then Amsterdam, where he asked for refugee status. However, after staying in an open refugee camp, his Asylum status was rejected in May of this year because Elbrus “cannot prove he belongs to the LGBT community.” He was ordered to leave the Netherlands on July 12th and flew to Barcelona instead of returning to Russia. He was homeless in Spain for a bit but has since found accommodations. He does not want to return to Russia as he claims that Russian security force members, while he was in their custody, tortured and blackmailed him while threatening him with death if he ever returns to his homeland. Truly despicable.
I hope that Elbrus gets granted asylum in Spain because there really are no other options for him. He either gets granted asylum so that he can live his new life or he returns to Russia where he will most likely be killed. It’s hard to think that people can be this diabolical and vicious, but unfortunately, this is the reality in which we live.
Source: Gay Star News