The chair of the Chechen parliament, Magomed Daudov, played a key role in anti-gay purges in the Russian authoritarian republic of Chechnya, Human Rights Watch has revealed in a report published today.
Daudov, a long-time ally of the republic's notorious leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, personally oversaw the torture of men who were detained in secret prisons on suspicion of being gay, two detainees told Human Rights Watch. Daudov made “offensive comments” during the beatings, they said.
Another victim of the purge said he saw him in another prison in Grozny, Chechnya's capital.
In early April, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported that over 100 gay men had been brutally detained, locked in secret prisons, tortured and coerced into revealing the names of friends and partners. At least four men were reportedly killed.
According to Novaya Gazeta, the purge began in February 2017 when Daudov “flew into a rage” after discovering that a man arrested for possessing drugs had a “porn gallery” on his phone with contacts for gay men.
Commenting on the report, Chechen lawmaker Zelimkhan Dzhamaldinov told the Govorit Moskva radio station that the republic's parliament “doesn't give a damn about what some corrupt European journalists write.”