Grozny TV/Instagram

A man has apologised on Russian TV for telling Time magazine that he was gay.

Mover Eskarkhanov became the first Chechen to publicly come out after an interview with Time.

But in the clip with Chechen broadcaster Grozny TV, Mr Eskarkhanov said he came out because he was under the influence of epilepsy medication and that he had been 'framed' by Westerners.

He said:

They disgraced me before the Chechen people and the Chechen leader, I was framed.

That’s why I apologise to the residents of Chechnya, the leadership of Chechnya, the Chechens living in the North Caucasus and Europe.

In the Time magazine article: 'They Tell Me A Demon Lives Inside Me', the 28-year-old claimed he was kidnapped by men in late November in Germany - where he was seeking refuge. He said the men took him to a forest and forced him to come out on video. He also said that he received multiple threats over the internet after he fled to Germany.

The gay purge

Original reports in Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta claimed a horrifying anti-homosexual purge had been unfolding in Chechnya.

Campaigners said a secret Nazi-style concentration camp was set up in the region to torture men from the LGBT community.

The UK, US, Germany and international human rights groups have called on Russia to investigate the claims.

Deputy Head of the UK Foreign Office Baroness Joyce Anelay said in a statement:

The human rights situation for LGBT people in Russia has deteriorated significantly in recent years, and we continue to voice our serious concern with Russian authorities at all levels.

The detention and ill-treatment of over 100 gay men in Chechnya is extremely concerning. 

The statement by the regional government, implying that such treatment towards LGBT people is acceptable, is particularly abhorrent

But Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov dismissed the claims, telling HBO:

We don't have any gays.

Kadyrov's spokesperson also released a statement saying:

You cannot arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic.

If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.


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