Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic
Vladimir Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic

The New York Times is reporting some horrific specifics about the Chechnya anti-gay pogrom. Chechen authorities are using chats to lure gays into apartments where they are then tortured. The tortured gay men reveal others who are then lured to a fake date through a chat, ostensibly with a trusted friend.

Maksim said it had started with a chat room conversation with “a very good old friend who is also gay,” and who suggested that they meet at an apartment. When Maksim arrived, however, he was greeted not by his friend but by agents who beat him. Later, they strapped him to a chair, attached electrical wires to his hands with alligator clips and began an interrogation.

“They yelled, ‘Who else do you know?’” Maksim said, and zapped him with current from time to time. “It was unbearably painful; I was hanging on with my last strength,” he added. “But I didn’t tell them anything.”

Novaya Gazeta, an opposition newspaper, first reported the pogrom, saying that at least 100 gay men had been arrested and three killed in the roundup. Human Rights Watch corroborated those findings.

Among the fatalities documented by the organization were one man who succumbed during torture and two others who died in “honor killings” by relatives after the police released them.

This is all about religious observance by people who have lost all perspective. It is similar to the mindset that caused educated men to fly airplanes into buildings.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.