Tortured and spat at: Gay Chechen man reveals weeks of abuse

In Chechnya, gay men are reportedly being rounded up, detained, and tortured. One man, on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press he and others were being tortured every day.

"We were beaten [so badly] that some people had open wounds on the body. And after several days many people smelled like rotten meat," he said.

He said they were starved, spat at, beaten with plastic tubes and tortured with electricity.

"As much as you wanted to lose consciousness - so they would leave you alone - unfortunately, it didn't happen," he said.

"For 20-30 seconds they spin the handle, you feel the electricity, then you fall down, they stop it, and then immediately you come back to consciousness and you are ready again for a new shock. And it goes on five, six, seven times."

This man is one of around 200 people detained, most of whom were gay, according to the local Novaya Gazeta. At least three have reportedly died.

The initial media report, that gay people in the region were being targeted and detained, was met with a chilling response by the government.

"You can't detain and repress people who simply don't exist in the republic," Chechen government spokesperson Alvi Karimov said.

It's cold comfort for those who said they were held in a detention centre.

The survivor who spoke to AP said the torture was to beat information out of them.

"They asked us to name [sexual] partners, other representatives of the LGBT community, everyone you know," he said.

He was held at a police station for 14 days while being tortured. He never thought he would make it out alive - he said he was repeatedly told he would die there.

Now he's in a safehouse in Moscow, provided by LGBT activists.

There have been calls for Russian authorities to investigate the allegations, in a country which has stringent anti-LGBT laws.

On Sunday (local time), several activists trying to raise awareness about Chechnya were arrested by officers in riot gear, according to independent local media.

The survivor who spoke to AP said it's no longer safe to be in Russia.

"Because this is the subject which annoys [Chechen] authorities. They think that [gay people] and journalists discredited the region," he said.

"But I think that if somebody discredits the region it is the government, because of these wrong actions. And I think they will not be against finding us all and doing everything [in their power] so that we stop speaking altogether."