Donato Sanchez is pictured here inthe year he was released from the Bridge to Life "gay rehab" clinic at 19 years old, before his hormonal therapy. Nothing more. But that never happened.
Five LGBT activists have been arrested in Moscow as they tried to deliver a petition calling on Russian authorities to investigate the alleged detention and torture of dozens of gay men in Chechnya. Safranov said they expected to be charged with staging an unsanctioned demonstration. The group's petition, which was launched on Change.
The group is said to have lured gay teens with personal ads on a Russian networking site, then filmed its members beating, torturing, and forcing the teenagers to come out as gay. A well-known group of Russian neo-Nazis has been luring gay teens who respond to personal ads, then beating them, humiliating them, and forcing them to come out on video, reports Spectrum Human Rights Alliance. The skinhead group then proudly posted photos of the assaults on Facebook.
Ayub Kataev, head of the ministry of internal affairs for the town of Argun, showed a team from Vice News around its now abandoned police facility in an attempt to disprove the alleged abuse of more than men. Footage showed footprints on the floor of the abandoned facility, where empty rooms were filled with broken glass and furniture. News of the disappearances provoked global outcry earlier this year, prompting a rare pledge of a formal investigation from the Kremlin. Kheda Saratova, Chechnya's Human Rights Commissioner and government advisor, claimed she had seen no evidence of the alleged persecution.
More than a thousand people packed the courtyard of a mosque to witness the caning, which was the first time that Aceh, the only province in Indonesia to practice Shariah law, has caned people for homosexuality. The crowd shouted insults and cheered as the men, aged 20 and 23, were whipped across the back and winced with pain. Many in the crush of spectators filmed the caning with cellphones as a team of five robed and hooded enforcers took turns inflicting the punishment, relieving one another after every 20 strokes for one of the men and 40 for the other.
In the early s, when I was a middle schooler in Florida, I was subjected to a trauma that was meant to erase my existence as a newly out bisexual. For over two years, I sat on a couch and endured emotionally painful sessions with a counselor. I was told that my faith community rejected my sexuality; that I was the abomination we had heard about in Sunday school; that I was the only gay person in the world; that it was inevitable I would get H.
The new allegations come after reports in of more than gay men arrested and subjected to torture, and some of them killed, in the predominantly Muslim region in southern Russia. The Associated Press and other media outlets have interviewed some of the victims, who spoke about torture at the hands of Chechen law enforcement officers. Chechen authorities have denied those accusations, and federal authorities conducted a probe into the earlier reports but said they found nothing to support the charges.
Gay men are being tortured and murdered in Chechen prisons, detainees have alleged. Chechen police had rounded up more than men suspected to be gay and allegedly killed at least three of them, an independent Russian newspaper reported. The paper's initial report was denied by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesman, who called it "absolute lies and disinformation" and suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region. However, victims told the paper they were beaten with sticks, forced to sit on bottles and had their hands electrocuted.