Until now, the allegations that gay men are being attacked by police and rounded up and tortured by Chechen authorities have gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream US media, without so much as a reporter on the ground to investigate the claims. But now, CNN has found gay men who were willing to talk under the condition of anonymity who describe what’s happening in the Kremlin-backed federal district of Russia.
“If my family finds out that I’m gay, then no authorities, no troops are needed. They will kill me themselves,” a man who asked to be identified as Ahmed said. “Even if my parents will forgive me, someone—like my uncle—won’t forgive.”
So far, the Chechen leader has said that the reports are fake, and, in fact, the district doesn’t even have gay men.