Over 30 people have been reported killed in Chechen concentration camps, according to Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta — some of them by their own families.
In interviews with France 24, survivors attest to a horrific ultimatum given to family members of gay and bisexual men, who in recent weeks have been reportedly rounded up and imprisoned by authorities in Chechnya.
"They tell the parents to kill their child," said one survivor, whose voice and appearance were disguised for his protection. “They say: 'Either you do it or we will.' They call it 'cleaning your honor with blood.'"
"They tortured a man for two weeks," he recounted. "They summoned his parents and his brothers who all came. They said to them, 'Your son is a homosexual, sort it out or we’ll do it ourselves.'"
"The family took him and killed him in the forest. They buried him there. They didn’t even give him a funeral."
"If I go home, my own family will kill me," he said.
The survivor confirmed a number of torture techniques for prisoners of the camps: electric shocks, beatings, food deprivation, and giving them women's names and feeding them leftover scraps as forms of humiliation.
"They kill people," he said of Chechen authorities. "They do what they want. They know that nobody will come after them because the order has come from above to ‘cleanse the nation’ of people like us."
Despite mounting pressure from human rights organizations, President Trump has yet to comment on the atrocities. Chechnya is a semiautonomous republic within Russia — yet Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin have not acknowledged the existence of the camps. This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel became the first world leader to ask Putin to act and protect gay Chechens.
Novaya Gazeta, which first reported on the so-called "purge" of queer men, believes that there are at least two secret facilities housed in former military bases.
Watch the survivor's testimony below.