Chechen pop singer Zelim Bakaev, who is feared to have fallen victim to Chechnya’s anti-gay purge, has been missing for three months.
The Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper released the names of 27 men, ages 18 to 33, who allegedly were killed in the recent anti-gay crackdown. Early accounts of the homophobic purge had put the death toll at three fatalities or more.
In the intensely homophobic Russian republic of Chechnya, what began as a minor drug arrest escalated into mass arrests of Chechen men suspected of being gay, torture, deaths and secret prisons described as concentration camps. Data on telephone calls to and from arrested Chechens were used to track down other suspects.