NPR

'They Told Me I Wasn't A Human Being': Gay Men Speak Of Brutal Treatment In Chechnya

Two gay men tell NPR they were kidnapped, beaten and interrogated in Chechnya before they were able to find refuge in Moscow. Human Rights Watch warns that Chechnya is conducting an "anti-gay purge."
Two gay men, who do not want to be identified for safety reasons, left Chechnya after being kidnapped and beaten there. Gregory (left) says he was held for 12 days in a basement. Arnie (right) says he was disowned by his relatives after he was delivered back to his family unconscious, in a burlap bag. They spoke with NPR at a safe house in Moscow. Source: Natalie Winston

At an unmarked apartment building in Moscow, there's a notice taped to a large metal door with a list of tenants who haven't paid their rent. Up five flights of stairs, on the top floor, two young men sit side by side on an old couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

They're calling themselves Gregory and Arnie. They don't want to use their real names because they fear for their lives. Both men recently left Chechnya, where they were detained and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min read
Mindy Kaling And Emma Thompson Shatter The 'Late Night' Glass Ceiling
Thompson plays a successful TV host who pulled the ladder up behind her in the movie Late Night. Kaling says a female late night host is "science fiction," but this was the role she wanted to write.
NPR2 min read
Drake Celebrates Toronto Raptors NBA Championship With 'The Best In The World Pack'
The Toronto rapper celebrates as if he was the one sweating on the court. "I wish that I was playing in a sport where we were getting rings / I wouldn't have space on either hand for anything."
NPR3 min readPolitics
Crew Of Norwegian-Owned Oil Tanker Arrives In Dubai After 'Hostile Attack'
The 10-member crew of Front Altair reached Dubai two days after explosions rocked two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Backed by video evidence, the U.S. is blaming Iran.