Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakaev was reportedly arrested, tortured, and murdered by by Chechen authorities due to
“suspicion of homosexuality.”
Bakaev was last seen on August 8 in Grozny, where he came from Moscow for his sister’s wedding. His Instagram account has been deleted, but a Twitter account in his name remains active, with no recent updates. Earlier this week, Igor Kocketkovof of the Russian LGBT Network made a statement to the media that touched on his disappearance, saying,
“At the end of August, we received confirmation of our earlier presumption that [Bakaev] was detained by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.”
A source close to activists in the region have said that Bakaev, 26, was tortured to death.
“He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours. Within ten hours he was murdered.”
Earlier this week, Maxim Lapunov became the first victim of Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’ to come forward publicly with claims of abuse at the hands of authorities.
Igor Kocketkov claimed at Monday’s press conference that other individuals in Chechnya’s entertainment industry were subjected to “torture” as authorities tried to get information on Bakayev.