#Russia

Gay 20-Year-Old Survivor of Chechen Concentration Camps Kidnapped From Russian Safehouse -- By His Father

In 2017, the Chechen government abducted, imprisoned and tortured over 200 men in the Chechen Republic suspected of being gay or bisexual. At least 26 men have died in the Chechen concentration camps for homosexuals, the first of their kind since the Holocaust.

Attitude reports a gay survivor of one of these camps was just kidnapped—by his own father.

Zelimkhan Akhmadov, 20, was taking out the garbage at a Russian safe house when witnesses heard him screaming for help. Kidnappers, including his father, had forced him into a car.

He managed to send a brief text message —“help me”— to the Russian LGBT Network. The Network contacted St. Petersburg police.

The closest thing to good news here: based on license plate information, local police found Zelimkhan and his kidnappers.

The kidnappers have been arrested. Zelimkhan is in protective custody with a lawyer and representation from the Russian LGBT Network.

At the police station, Zelimkhan’s father reportedly repeated threats to his son, saying he brought shame to the family. He demanded his son record a video denying he’d suffered any persecution, but he denied.

Akhmadov was detained, imprisoned and tortured multiple times in Chechnya’s gay purge. He was pressured to out his friends, placed on a federal wanted list and warned that his family had been told to kill him in an “honor killing.” He was placed in a safehouse by the Russian LGBT Network.

In April, he was nearly kidnapped by Chechen police and some of his own family members. He managed to escape, but a friend he was staying with was stabbed by kidnappers.

The Chechen Republic is a part of the Russian Federation. The Russian government has steadfastly denied any persecution of LGBTQ+ people in Chechnya.

h/t: Attitude

h/t: Metro Weekly 

h/t: The Advocate 

LGBTQ Activists Create #HiddenFlag In Russian Photo Campaign

In that Russia currently has a ban on 'gay propaganda' - which would include even a simple rainbow flag - a group of activists have undertaken a secret mission to share the colors of pride.

According to Buzzfeed, Spain-based digital ad agency LOLA MullenLowe recently teamed up with FELGTB, Spain's federation for LGBT rights, to take a series of rainbow-themed photos in Russia during the World Cup.

Calling themselves 'The Hidden Flag,' they took the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia hiding in plain sight.

From the official website:

We have taken advantage of the fact the country is hosting the World Cup at the same time as Pride Month, to denounce their behaviour and take the rainbow flag to the streets of Russia.

Yes, in the plain light of day, in front of the Russian authorities, Russian society and the whole world, we wave the flag with pride.

How? In a way that no one would ever suspect. Football shirts.

Spain, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. Six countries. Six brave LGBT activists, that together, form the flag that toured around iconic sites in Russia, traveling to every corner to fight against a struggle that will never be silenced.

 

 

There was one scary moment for the activists. As they were leaving Russia, one of the six participants, Colombian Mateo Fernandez, was detained for 15 hours by officials at the airport. 

Fernandez told Gay Star News he wasn’t sure if he was detained because he’s Colombian or if the authorities in Russia had come to realize he is engaged in LGBTQ activism. He was placed in a small room and interrogated about his activities while in Russia.

The authorities took his phone and belongings and held him for almost a full day asking questions. Fernandez says the group had agreed, if anything happened, they would all just say they were in the country as tourists.

At one point his phone was returned and he contacted the ad company. A rep for the ad company offered to come help but Fernandez worried it would only raise more suspicions.

The 29-year-old admits he cried three times during the questioning but was eventually released. Having missed two flights, he flew to safety in Amsterdam.

Fernandez told Gay Star News that as a gay Colombian, he’s been ‘randomly selected’ more often than most travelers at international airports.

Members of The Hidden Flag confirmed that the campaign photos weren’t released until the entire group was safely out of Russia.

“When we were doing it, I was scared shitless,” says the Colombian. But he adds, “It was completely worth it.”

Visit the official website for more photos from the campaign as well as info about each activist.

Gay Couple Brutally Attacked In Russia Before World Cup

Just prior to the first match of this year’s World Cup in St. Petersburg, a gay couple were brutally attacked.

A Frenchman identified only as O. Davrius and his partner, who hasn’t been named, were physically assaulted and robbed of their money and cellphones. Davrius suffered a fractured jaw, an open head injury and possible brain damage.

The opening match in the 2018 World Cup was between two anti-LGBTQ+ nations: Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Davrius and his partner were reportedly targeted and attacked after they caught a taxi.

Perhaps you know this already, but FIFA is the worst. Just the absolute worst. Driven solely by the desire for profit, they’ve ignored the civil rights and safety of fans, and even players, for decades. They’ve received a great deal of criticism for the decision to hold this year’s games in Russia, especially in light of the incarcerations and executions in Chechnya.

Organizations for LGBTQ+ soccer fans have been receiving threats for months leading up to the World Cup. One such group, Pride in Football, received messages saying LGBTQ+ soccer fans would be hunted down and killed.

Russia’s government is openly homophobic. Anti-LGBTQ+ crimes in the nation have risen sharply since 2013, when the “gay propaganda” law came into play. This law bans any positive mention of LGBTQ+ people or rights in any place accessible to minors.

Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the opening ceremonies, this year’s World Cup organizing committee told LGBTQ+ fans that no harm would come to them at this year’s series.

In four years, FIFA is holding the World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is flat-out illegal.

h/t: si.com

Which Celeb Is Guaranteed To Help Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

 

We can go ahead and file this one under: "Um, What!?" Cutie Zach Braff is best known for his role on the long-running comedy Scrubs, and while the series was popular in America, it was wildly popular in the Ukraine and Russia, and Braff is still feeling the effects to this day! Interestingly, in an ad for men who can't feel anything.

Zach's likeness of his onscreen character J.D. is so popular that Russians often use it, unsanctioned, for ads, and a new one is for erectile dysfunction specifically! U.S.S.R. you kidding me? Braff was on hand to discuss the hilarious story on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he elaborated:

Yeah, this keeps happening to me. I don't think they think anyone's going to walk down the street and be like 'Hey, copyright infringement!'

 

 

Kimmel explained the specific ad in question:

This has been translated for me, and it pretty much says like 'If you're penis isn't working, I'll help you. Call this number.'

He then quipped:

Are you at all worried that Robert Mueller will subpoena you to be a part of the investigation?

To which Braff hilariously responded:

Only if he needs help with his boner.

In the picture, J.D. can be seen in his full doctor getup along with all the information you need to make an informed decision about addressing ED, and you can hear all the deets in the funny interview. See, what could be untrustworthy about Russia?