Gay Men Tell CNN About “Horrific” Torture At Chechnya’s Concentration Camps

"If my family finds out that I'm gay... no troops are needed. They will kill me themselves."

“My car got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint and they asked me for my documents,” the man known as “Ahmed” told CNN’s Matthew Chance in a new interview detailing the torture happening to gay men in Chechnya.

“They looked at them and said: ’We are taking you.'”

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CNN

Ahmed is one of the two men interviewed who have escaped Chechyna’s concentration camps for men suspected of being homosexuals.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 26: Police detained protesters during anti-corruption demonstrations on March 26, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. Thousands of people crowded for an unsanctioned protest against  Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev after reports by Russia's  opposition leader Alexei Navalny's group claiming that Medvedev has amassed a collection of mansions, yachts and vineyards.  (Photo by Alexander Miridonov/Kommersant via Getty Images)
Alexander Miridonov/Kommersant via Getty Images

Heda Saratova, the head of in Chechnya’s Human Rights Council, has dismissed the claims that hundreds of gay men have been detained but now the men who suffered the brutal attacks are speaking out.

“They started beating me with their fists and feet,” described another man in CNN’s interview. “They wanted to get names of my gay friends from me.”

cnn russian
CNN

“Then they tied wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me. They’ve got special equipment, which is very powerful. When they shock you, you jump high above the ground.”

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has spoken out about the concentration camps:

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation,” Haley said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored — Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

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Alexander Miridonov/Kommersant via Getty Images

The Chechen men know that if they are outed as gay they will be killed either by torture or by their own family members.

“If my family finds out that I’m gay, then no authorities, no troops are needed,” said Ahmed. “They will kill me themselves.”

“Even if my parents will forgive me, someone — like my uncle — won’t forgive.”
 

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