Missing Gay Singer Zelimkhan Bakaev
Back in October, we shared with you the news of openly gay singer Zelimkhan Bakaev’s disappearance.
Russian LGBT Network, the organization that’s been helping Chechen gay and bisexual men escape the country, raised a flag at the singer’s disappearance during a Moscow press conference campaign.
The country of Chechnya has been in headlines for months now because of the shared “secret” that gay and bisexual men are being tortured and killed by government officials.
Later, an anonymous source told NewNowNext that Bakaev was tortured to death.
“He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours.
“Within ten hours he was murdered.”
More: The U.S. Senate Finally Acknowledged The Gay Purge in Chechnya
Now, Chechnya’s leader has spoken up about the disappearance of the singer.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov spoke to a group of police and security officials while being recorded live. In the moment, Kadyrov mentioned Bakaev and suggested that Bakaev’s family members killed him because of his sexuality.
“His relatives, who didn’t keep an eye on him and were ashamed that he was one of them, now say that I took him,” he said, adding that there was no “evidence” of state involvement.
“His family couldn’t stop him, and then called him back home, and his brothers, it seems, accused him of being one of those,” the leader told the assembled audience, reports Radio Free Europe.
“Isn’t there anyone in the village, any man in the family, who can admit: ‘We did this’? They know full well who their relative was.”
That said, Bakaev’s father later spoke to local media sources and said that the family was not involved with the singer’s disappearance.
Back in September, it was Bakaev’s mother who asked Kadyrov to conduct and investigation into her son’s disappearance, but the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs refused to instigate a criminal investigation.