Elena Milashina, a reporter for the Russian Newspaper Novaya Gazeta, broke a story on April 1st that the Chechnyan government was rounding of gay men and keeping them in detention. She also reported that three men had already been killed.

Now stories are surfacing from some of the men, who were detained and subsequently released, about their treatment at the hands of government security forces. According to BuzzFeed News,

“Beatings, electric shocks I could deal with… I was strong. But the humiliation was unbearable,” he said. “The [police] spit in our faces, they called us disgusting, offensive names, they forced us into humiliating poses… When they finally released me, I was close to hanging myself. I cannot live with this, I just can’t.”

Chechnya’s ruler is Ramzan Kadyrov. He has been in power since 2007 and has instituted an Islamic state that adheres to strict rules and subjugates women and gays. He rules with Putin’s blessing and emulates him in his attempts to be a macho man. According to Kadyrov, there are no gay people in his country.

Read more at BuzzFeed News

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