People are kidnapped not only in Chechnya: unknown people tried to abduct a native of Chechnya in St. Petersburg

On July 13, in St. Petersburg there was an attempt to kidnap a native of Chechnya Zelimkhan Akhmadov. According to the information received, his father can be involved as well as unknown people who spoke Chechen language among themselves. At least one of the perpetrators possessed an ID of the law enforcement officer.

Almost a year Zelimkhan Akhmadov is hiding due to the persecution caused by suspicions on his homosexuality, and the recent attempt to kidnap him is not the first one. There were already five attempts to abduct the young man or to force him to return to Chechnya.

On July 13, at 12:20 pm, five people attacked Zelimkhan nearby his shelter, and forced him into the car. As it turned out later, this car was waiting nearby for 2 days. A friend of Zelimkhan managed to send a message to the staff member of the Russian LGBT Network, and he immediately filed a claim of abduction to the police, went to the location and talked to witnesses.

The security personal of the residential house registered the numbers of the car involved (they register all the cars in the zone of the residential house), and because of that police managed to find a young man and his father quickly. There were no other people in the place of detention.

Both Akhmadovs were taken to the police office №60, where the father threatened Zelimkhan: he said that he was the shame of the whole family, and that because of him all the clan is under a death threat. The father also tried to persuade the son to make a video, where he would say that there was no persecution, and that he was not homosexual. Zelimkhan refused to do so.

In the evening, Zelimkhan left the police office; he is safe now. The Russian LGBT Network provides all necessary support. Pretrial investigation was initiated. According to the article 126 of the RF Criminal Code, abduction committed by a group of persons by previous consent shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of five to twelve years.

As Igor Kochetkov pointed out, this attempt of abduction disprove the official position of the Russian authorities, which repeatedly state that there are “no gay people in Chechnya”. Members of the LGBT community try to flee Chechnya because of the mass campaign against LGBT organized by the local authorities, but it is not enough. Chechen individuals suspected in homosexuality are persecuted outside of the Republic too. The Russian LGBT Network registered five cases of such abductions, as a result of which 5 people were taken back to Chechnya by force. It means that the Russian authorities cannot or do not want to protect the Russian citizens not only in Chechnya, but also outside of Chechnya.

The Russian authorities turn blind eyes on what is happening in Chechnya and refuse to open criminal proceedings for systematic mass detentions, tortures and killings of people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity in 2017. The Russian LGBT Network defines persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya as a crime against humanity and demand an open and transparent investigation.