In 2017, thugs kidnapped and tortured Chechen hairdresser Amin Dzhabrailov. Amin afterward escaped Chechnya’s murderous gay purge with the assistance of Rainbow Railroad. He spoke to ABC America’s Nightline about his experience on National Coming Out Day.
The rounding up, torture and murder of gay men and women in Chechnya began in 2017. Since that time, reports indicate a continued program of persecution of gay men and women, including extrajudicial killings, in the virtually autonomous Russian republic.
Putin loyalist Ramzan Kadyrov rules Chechnya with an iron fist. Formerly he participated in the Chechen Wars and ended up president after the assassination of his father, a former president.
Since claiming the presidency, Kadyrov rules through a reign of terror. Numerous reports implicate him in the violent repression of his opponents, including overseas killings by Chechen death squads. Journalists who report on Kadyrov face particular danger of assassination.
Kadyrov also amassed a personal fortune as head of state. In 2009, a horse he owned placed third in the Melbourne Cup. Bob Brown, then leader of the Greens, called on the government to quarantine the money.
“This is $420,000 from Australia going to a dictator with blood on his hands.”
Chechen gay purge
Kadyrov takes a leading role in the illegal detention, torture and murder of gay Chechens.
Reports indicate the regime uses concentration camp-like facilities to imprison gay Chechens. The inmates are subjected to torture including electrocution and beatings.
In addition, guards only agree to release inmates in return for bribes, or to allow the ‘honour killing’ of the gay men or women by their relatives.
Three men kidnapped Amin Dzhabrailov from his hair salon in the Chechen capital in 2017.
Then, over several days, they beat and subjected him to electric shocks while keeping him handcuffed to a chair in a basement.
“They tell me that they know that I’m gay, and tell about more gay guys… The sense was probably just torture them also. … I didn’t give any name.”
The men also subjected Amin to a mock execution.
He eventually escaped Chechnya with the help of Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organisation which helps LGBTIQ escape persecution in their home countries.
— Rainbow Railroad (@RainbowRailroad) October 11, 2019
Kadyrov denies the purge as “absolute lies and disinformation.”
Previously his spokesman ridiculed allegations because no gays existed in Chechnya.
“You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic. If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”
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