Up to several hundred gay men are feared to have been rounded up and some killed in ultra-conservative Russian republic
At least once a day, Adams captors attached metal clamps to his fingers and toes. One of the men then cranked a handle on a machine to which the clamps were linked with wires, and sent powerful electric shocks through his body. If he managed not to scream, others would join in, beating him with wooden sticks or metal rods.
As they tortured him, the men shouted verbal abuse at him for being gay, and demanded to know the names of other gay men he knew in Chechnya. Sometimes they were trying to get information from me; other times they were just amusing themselves, he said, speaking about the ordeal he underwent just a month ago with some difficulty.
Adam was held in an informal detention facility with more than a dozen other gay men, who were all subjected to torture on a daily basis. A similar mop-up campaign by governmental security forces took place in towns across the republic.
Igor Kochetkov, a gay rights activist from St Petersburg, has helped organise an emergency contact centre which gay people in Chechnya can reach out to securely to get help with evacuation. He said dozens of people had got in touch to ask for help. Many are in hiding from both their families and the authorities.
We are talking about the mass persecution of gay people, with hundreds of people kidnapped by authorities, Kochetkov told the Guardian. This is unprecedented not only in Russia but in recent world history. There is little doubt that we are dealing with crimes against humanity.
Under the Moscow-backed local leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya has been rebuilt after two brutal separatist conflicts in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Kadyrov pledges allegiance to Vladimir Putin and a love for Russia, and in return the Kremlin turns a blind eye to human rights abuses. Critics say Kadyrovs notorious battalions have long operated outside the law.