Gay 20-Year-Old Survivor of Chechen Concentration Camps Kidnapped From Russian Safehouse -- By His Father
In 2017, the Chechen government abducted, imprisoned and tortured over 200 men in the Chechen Republic suspected of being gay or bisexual. At least 26 men have died in the Chechen concentration camps for homosexuals, the first of their kind since the Holocaust.
Attitude reports a gay survivor of one of these camps was just kidnapped—by his own father.
Zelimkhan Akhmadov, 20, was taking out the garbage at a Russian safe house when witnesses heard him screaming for help. Kidnappers, including his father, had forced him into a car.
He managed to send a brief text message —“help me”— to the Russian LGBT Network. The Network contacted St. Petersburg police.
The closest thing to good news here: based on license plate information, local police found Zelimkhan and his kidnappers.
The kidnappers have been arrested. Zelimkhan is in protective custody with a lawyer and representation from the Russian LGBT Network.
At the police station, Zelimkhan’s father reportedly repeated threats to his son, saying he brought shame to the family. He demanded his son record a video denying he’d suffered any persecution, but he denied.
Akhmadov was detained, imprisoned and tortured multiple times in Chechnya’s gay purge. He was pressured to out his friends, placed on a federal wanted list and warned that his family had been told to kill him in an “honor killing.” He was placed in a safehouse by the Russian LGBT Network.
In April, he was nearly kidnapped by Chechen police and some of his own family members. He managed to escape, but a friend he was staying with was stabbed by kidnappers.
The Chechen Republic is a part of the Russian Federation. The Russian government has steadfastly denied any persecution of LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya.
h/t: Metro Weekly
h/t: The Advocate