Chechnya: Activists Mark Anniversary of Chechen Pop Star’s Disappearance With Global Protests

Chechen pop star Zelim Bakaev was last seen on August 8, 2017 in Grozny, Chechnya en route to his sister’s wedding. One year later, despite multiple requests, the Russian Investigative Committee has not launched a formal inquiry. On Wednesday (August 8), activist groups around the world staged demonstrations to demand one.

In New York, Voices4 and RUSA LGBT staged a demonstration at the Stonewall National Landmark Park. Organizations in Omaha, Chicago, and in the Netherlands also held rallies calling for an independent investigation into Bakaev’s whereabouts.

Reports first began surfacing in April of 2017 that authorities in Chechnya were detaining, torturing, and even murdering gay men. Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov repeatedly denied these reports, claiming that there are no gay men living in the predominantly Muslim Russian republic.

Bakaev’s family are unable to get answers about his fate. Human rights experts told NewNowNext they believe Bakaev was killed by authorities, perhaps accidentally as a result of torture.

“He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours,” the source claims. “Within ten hours, he was murdered.” Read more via NewNowNext