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Bisexual woman wants parents arrested after they sent her to be tortured in brutal Chechen ‘conversion clinic’

Emma Powys Maurice January 22, 2020
Chechnya

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Chechen Republic, where allegations of anti-gay purges have been rife since 2017. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

A bisexual woman is pursuing criminal proceedings against her parents after they allowed her to be beaten and tortured for her sexuality at a ‘conversion clinic’.

Aminat Lorsanova, 22, was held for four months at the Republican Psycho-Neurological Dispensary while an unnamed acquaintance of her father tried to “expel evil spirits” from her by beating her.

Lorsanova is also calling for charges to be brought against a second psychiatric clinic which detained her for 25 days in August of 2018.

Both clinics are in the city of Grozny in the Chechen Republic, a region of Russia that launched an alleged ‘gay purge‘ against the LGBT+ population. Multiple human rights organisations have raised serious concerns after LGBT+ refugees spoke of violent abuse and torture in gay concentration camps. Chechnya’s homophobic leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who refers to gay people as ‘devils’, has repeatedly denied the purges are taking place.

As with many refugees, Lorsanova’s bisexual sexuality was rejected by her conservative Muslim family. She said that when she refused to comply, her father injected her with an antipsychotic medication against her will on at least six occasions in 2018.

“He put handcuffs and tied my legs with adhesive tape. My mouth was also taped. He told me that he was going to treat me like an animal, like a sheep,” she said, speaking to Vice.

“After the injection of aminazin, I was supposed to sleep that way. He even didn’t unleash my legs and hands.”

Demonstrators in London lay roses on a rainbow flag as they protest purge of gay men in Chechnya
Demonstrators outside the Russian Embassy in London lay roses on a rainbow flag in protest at Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’ (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty)

She was then forced to endure brutal beatings while her parents watched on.

“[The man] was beating me with a stick in the solar plexus, pressing this area and below with his fingers. He put down my skirt to the hips and was pressing there as well,” she said.

“I was screaming out of pain, and he was yelling prayers. My mother and father observed the process but did not do anything even though I asked for help and asked them to stop that.”

The bisexual Lorsanova was able to escape thanks to the Russian LGBT Network, an advocacy group that has been instrumental in evacuating LGBT+ people from the region. And not a moment too soon: after she fled, one of the volunteers who helped her was reportedly attacked in her apartment and interrogated about Lorsanova’s whereabouts.

Now safely outside Russia, Lorsanova has filed a complaint with the Federal Investigative Committee of Russia, demanding authorities initiate criminal proceedings against her tormentors.

The Federal Investigative Committee of Russia did not immediately respond to Vice‘s request for comment.

 

More: bisexual, Chechnya, conversion camps, LGBT refugees, Ramzan Kadyrov, Russia, Vice

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