Gay journalist who helped uncover Chechnya purge faces deportation

An activist stands naked, wrapped in a rainbow flag, in a mock cage

A gay journalist who helped to uncover the horrific treatment of gay men in Chechnya is facing deportation.

30-year-old Ali Feruz is a journalist for Novaya Gazeta and originates from Uzbekistan.

Feruz frequently writes about LGBT rights, hate crimes and disability rights.

He helped to uncover the injustices against gay men living in Chechnya.

Related: What is happening with gay people in Chechnya?

Feruz fled his home country after he was persecuted for being gay.

When he still lived there, he was attacked by authorities.

He then fled to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and six years ago he migrated to Russia.

Now, Russian authorities have ordered the 30-year-old to be deported as a number of Novaya Gazeta journalists are being targeted.

Feruz believes that if he returns to Uzbekistan he will be subject to severe violence and could potentially face a criminal sentence.

Same-sex relations are illegal in his home country and if charged he could face a sentence of up to three years.

The country also persecutes journalists as it has extreme censorship of the media.

Before Feruz fled his country he was married to a citizen of Kyrgyzstan in 2008. That same year, he was reportedly kidnapped by security services and forced to reveal information.

He says that he was asked to work for them, but was refused and was severely injured.

In 2013, he came out as gay and split from his wife.

Since moving to Russia he has been refused asylum multiple times and earlier this year he was detained for 12 hours.

Colleagues of Feruz fear that even his asylum application is accepted he could still be deported to Uzbekistan.

It is even believed that Dmitry Muratov, the editor in chief of Novaya Gazeta has contacted Russian President Vladimir Putin in hopes of protecting the journalist.