Gay man takes Russia to Europe's rights court over Chechnya LGBT+ attacks

A Russian man who said he was tortured during a crackdown on LGBT+ people in Chechnya has appealed to Europe’s top rights court, claiming his case was not properly investigated by Russian authorities, his lawyers said on Friday.

In a complaint filed with the Strasburg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Maxim Lapunov said Russia had failed to protect him as he was arrested and beaten up by police in the Chechen capital Grozny in 2017, according to a human rights group representing him.

At the time Lapunov was living in Chechnya, an autonomous, deeply conservative, mainly Muslim region in the south of Russia.

“For two years, Maxim Lapunov, who claimed to have been tortured in Chechnya, did not achieve an effective investigation of his complaint at the national level,” the Committee Against Torture, a Russian NGO, said in a statement.

“Now the Strasbourg judges will have to give their assessment of both the fact of unlawful detention and torture against the applicant, and the actions of the investigators”.

Lapunov is seeking compensation from the government for failing to protect him from torture, discrimination and unlawful detention, said Dimitri Piskunov, head of the Committee Against Torture in North Caucasus.

Russia’s justice ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

More than 100 gay men or men believed to be gay were rounded-up and tortured in Chechnya, an autonomous region in the south of the country, in 2017, according to media reports. Local authorities have denied this occurred. Read more via Reuters