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Gay Chechen man escapes Russia following kidnapping, beatings by strongman's relative

ramzan kadyrov Chechen President Rizvan Dadaev gay man escapes russian torture
shutterstock; footage still via instagram @sksosorg

Rizvan Dadaev was held and beaten in a police station basement for three months following the release of a viral interrogation video.

A gay man in Chechnya who went missing following the release of a video where he was forced to reveal his sexual identity has escaped Russia, according to the local activist group SK SOS Crisis Group which facilitated his rescue.

“Thank you to everyone who worried about me.” Rizvan Dadaev said in a video posted to Telegram by SK SOS Crisis Group.

Dadaev went missing for roughly three months in July of 2022 following the release of a video where in obvious distress he was forced to reveal his sexual identity by a group of men presumed to be members of the Chechen government. With the aid of SK SOS, Dadaev was able to escape Russia and is now speaking out, revealing details of his kidnapping and detention, including accusations of human rights abuses at the most senior levels of the government of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Dadaev revealed to SK SOS that he was kidnapped not by police officers as originally presumed but by four criminal extortionists who sought 50,000 rubles or an iPhone 13 from Dadaev for their silence. The video was widely seen after it was posted to the internet.

A week after the kidnapping, Dadaev and his kidnappers were arrested and taken to the basement of the local police station, where he said they were all tortured. He said the four men were beaten with polyurethane piping and subject to electric shock torture.

Dadaev said his first beating was administered by the chief of police, who allegedly said the gay man was “too clean” and ordered him to roll around on the floor before beating him until he lost consciousness.

Dadaev also said he was beaten by Deni Aidamirov, the reported nephew of Kadyrov’s wife. Aidamirov was appointed to the position of First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of the Chechen Republic in 2023.

Police released Dadaev in mid-November of 2022, reportedly after a complaint by human rights activists. He remained in hiding until late last year when friends contacted SK SOS and sought help in facilitating his rescue.

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