After reports that more than 100 men suspected of being gay or bisexual were rounded up and tortured in Chechnya, the Russian LGBT Network has helped dozens escape. Many are afraid to go back.

“For the majority of these men, this persecution was unexpected. And now they don’t have any money, they’ve lost their jobs, their families, their official documents, everything,” says Tatyana Vinnichenko. “So they come to us for help.”

Vinnichenko is the chairperson of the Russian LGBT Network. She says that as of Monday morning, 59 men are seeking the organization’s help. They had to leave the southern Russian Republic of Chechnya because they were being persecuted for their sexual orientation.

At the beginning of April, the Russian newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” reported that over one hundred men were arrested for being gay or bisexual in Chechnya. It says at least three of them were killed. Several Western media outlets have since reported about beatings, torture and electric shocks the men were subjected to in police custody, as Chechen authorities tried to get them to admit to their sexual orientation and to hand over the names of gay acquaintances.

 

Read the whole story from DW.

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