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Gay Chechnya Refugee Who Disappeared For Months Now Claims Anti-Gay Purge Is A Lie


A gay male refugee from Chechnya has gone on state TV months after mysteriously disappearing to say sorry for being a ‘disgrace’ to the republic for claiming that he had been threatened and blackmailed in Chechnya after coming out as gay.

The story of Movsar Eskerhanov began when the kidnappers forced the young man to confess to sexual orientation in the camera due to the fact that Eskerhanov could not pay them 200 thousand rubles, which the criminals requested for not showing the video to anyone.  The kidnappers posted the video and the young man was forced to flee in Stavropol Krai, and then in Moscow. Eskerhanov later went to Germany to request political asylum because of the history

Movsar Eskerhanov told TIME magazine earlier this year that he feared for his life in the country which has arrested and tortured over 200 people have this year alone for being gay with some other men missing to never be seen again and who are presumed dead.

Eskerhanov remained at a German refugee camp where other Chechens recognized him and attacked him.

Later he was refused asylum by the German government.

Not long after that Eskerhanov mysteriously disappeared for months until earlier this week, when he resurfaced on state television for an investigation by Chechen government-controlled news network Grozny on the countries anti-gay purge.

Suddenly, Eskerhanov claims that he was set up by the media and framed to say he was gay before claiming that his coming out was made under the effects of epilepsy medication.

He said: “They disgraced me before the Chechen people and the Chechen leader, I was framed. That’s why I apologize to the residents of Chechnya, the leadership of Chechnya, the Chechens living in the North Caucasus and Europe.”

Chechens who criticize the republic’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, are routinely forced to give televised apologies, leading many to surmise that Eskerhanov disappearance was in fact a reprogramming  detention with torture and threats and that his apology was coerced and  that he is doing it to keep his family safe and himself alive.

Below is the recently aired interview in its original language.  If anyone can translate it please post in the comment section below.




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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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