Gay refugees forced back to Chechnya, despite ‘mortal danger’

An activist stands naked, wrapped in a rainbow flag, in a mock cage in front of the Chancellery in Berlin on April 30, 2017, during a demonstration calling on Russian President to put an end to the persecution of gay men in Chechnya. The protestors called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will meet Putin in Sochi on May 2, 2017, to raise the issue with him. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Chechnya has one of the worst human rights records for LGBT+ discrimination in the world. Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the authoritarian and mostly Muslim southern republic of Russia has said on numerous occasions that there are no LGBT+ people in Chechnya at all.


This week, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isayev, two Chechen men who escaped Russia after alleged torture, have been forcibly returned by Russian police after being helped to escape by the Russian LGBT Network.


Despite the denials of Chechen officials, dozens have come forward to tell of their experiences of torture, persecution and extermination at the hands of the authorities because of their sexual orientation.


The two Chechen men are now in ‘mortal danger’ according to a spokesperson for the LGBT Network.