Gay Chechen refugee arrested in Russia after returning for father’s funeral faces ‘mortal danger’

An agent in a black puffa coat confronting Idris

A gay refugee who fled Chechnya has been arrested in Russia, with fears mounting that he will face further torture.

Idris Arsamikov, 28, fled Chechnya in 2018 for Holland, activists have said, after being subjected to electroshock torture.

The abuse was inflicted on the him to get him to admit his sexuality, Russian news outlet Meduza reports.

He returned to Russia for his father’s funeral, but was detained at a Moscow airport where he was trying to return to the Netherlands.

Activists fear he will be returned to Chechnya, and that he may be tortured, imprisoned or even murdered there.

According to the North Caucasus LGBTQ+ support group, SK SOS: “The agent who came to pick up Idris at [Moscow’s] Domodedovo airport did not present documents to local police and refused to inform his lawyer about the detainee’s status.

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“We believe Arsamikov is now being taken to Chechnya, where he faces mortal danger.”

An Instagram video shows Arsamikov being detained by an officer not wearing a uniform, while being urged by his lawyer to resist the detention. However, he remains silent.

His arrest was said to be in response to fraud case opened against him in 2021.

The Meduza news outlet – which was deemed illegal by Russian president Vladimir Putin and now operates from Latvia – reported Arsamikov suffered a panic attack after being arrested. An ambulance was called to treat him.

Gay purges in the Chechen Republic

Chechnya has been condemned globally for conducting so-called gay purges.

Several reports have emerged describing horrific homophobic violence under the regime of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic.

Innocent people have been imprisoned, beaten, tortured and killed in notorious concentration camps.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Kadyrov has persistently denied the anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown ever happened.

“This is nonsense,” he has said when asked about the allegations. “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”