Severe beatings, electric shock treatment and forced starvation continue to be perpetrated against the LGBT+ community in Chechnya, a leading Russian NGO has said.

At least 36 people have suffered “abusive treatment” in secret prisons over the past year according to the Russian LGBT Network, an NGO based in St Petersburg, which cited testimonies alleging the abuses were “directed by the highest officials of Chechnya”.

“The victims were subjected to tortures, humiliations, and other measures that harm their physical and psychological well-being,” the group said.

The claims are contained within a report prepared with Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which in April of last year exposed the arrest, torture and murder of members of the Chechen LGBT+ community.

The paper wrote that Chechen police had rounded up more than 100 gay men in a “prophylactic sweep”, killed three and subjected many to prison beatings and electro-shock torture.

Kheda Saratova, an activist on the humans rights council of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, responded at the time: “I haven’t had a single request on this issue, but if I did, I wouldn’t even consider it.”

“In our Chechen society, any person who respects our traditions and culture will hunt down this kind of person without any help from authorities,” she added.

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