Maxim Lapunov. Screenshot of the video on the YouTube channel of the "Novaya Gazeta"

13 September 2023, 17:49

ECtHR awards compensation to Chechen gay Maxim Lapunov for torture in Chechnya

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that in relation to Maxim Lapunov, who had claimed kidnapping and torture in Chechnya because of his sexual orientation, authorities had violated the articles prohibiting torture and discrimination and the right to the freedom and security of person. Authorities have failed to conduct an efficient investigation into Lapunov's statements, the ECtHR has noted, awarding him compensation of EUR 52,000.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in October 2017, Maxim Lapunov, a native of the Omsk Region, stated that he had been detained in Chechnya on suspicion of homosexuality and spent 12 days in the basement of the criminal investigation department, where he was beaten up. He was later forced to leave Russia due to received threats.

In June 2020, the HBO's film "Welcome to Chechnya" filmed by the American documentarian, David France, and revealing the problem of persecution in Chechnya for one's sexual orientation, was premiered in the United States. It presents in most details the story of Maxim Lapunov.

The ECtHR has stated that the investigation into the Lapunov's case in Russia was conducted inefficiently; and investigators for five times failed to initiate criminal proceedings. Russian authorities also denied that Lapunov was subjected to ill-treatment.

Chechnya is notable for persecution based on sexual orientation. While homosexual men are persecuted by law enforcers, the fate of lesbians and transgender women is entirely in the hands of their relatives, who can be no less cruel.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 12, 2023 at 03:41 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: Caucasian Knot

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