Chechnya ‘gay purge’ responders receive death threats

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An activist working to help LGBT Chechens escape persecution received death threats after their home were invaded by strangers. Seven people broke into the apartment of a volunteer working for the Russian LGBT Network on May 17th, all the people were verbally abused and the volunteer was subjected to a physical violence. “We will take you to the police office and will break all your bones,” they were told by one of the attackers. The perpetrators were allegedly looking for a young Chechen woman who fled Chechnya, as well as the Russian LGBT Network emergency program coordinator David Isteev. “They told me to tell David Isteev that they were going to find and kill him,” the volunteer said, adding that three of the attackers called themselves policemen but refused to show documents. They claimed they were criminal investigation officers from North Ossetia and members of “special troops” belonging to the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

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