Security forces in Chechnya have a list of local celebrities suspected of being queer, according to a man who spent more than 10 days in a secret prison there.
Several rights group helping people caught up in Chechnya’s persecution of queer men spoke with OC Media about the list.
‘A man suspected of homosexuality who was detained by Chechen security officials and who spent more than 10 days in a secret jail saw this list. He recognised several names from around 30 on the list. They are well-known people in the republic — actors, singers, TV hosts’, a source in one group told OC Media.
There is a strong possibility that security forces will abduct these and others, according to the source.
[Read on OC Media: ‘Brothers, be careful. Don’t meet up in Grozny’]
‘Some people, fearing for their lives, have already left the republic, but others are still in Chechnya. They should understand that they could appear in this so-called “gay purge”. It's terrible to imagine what these people are experiencing now in this hell. Those who have been through this, they need medical and psychological help’, the activist told us.
According to the source, reports of new abductions in Chechnya of men suspected of being queer are still coming in, as well as appeals for help in fleeing the republic
On 1 April, Novaya Gazeta’s Elena Milashina reported the mass detention of men suspected of being queer in secret prisons, with a number being murdered.
According to a report by Milashina and rights group the Russian LGBT Network, activists have evacuated more than 70 queer people from Chechnya.
[Read on OC Media: Witnesses detail continuing anti-queer purge in Chechnya]