Family pressure has fuelled a sense of persecution felt by gay people in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region in southern Russia. Dozens have fled and some have been granted asylum abroad, amid reports of kidnap and torture by Chechen security forces targeting gay or allegedly gay people. Chechen officials deny the reported abuses. Marko, a Chechen in her early 20s, will never forget the day her family found out she was gay. "They said to me: 'Either we will kill you, or we will lock you up in a psychiatric ward and throw away the key. The only alternative is that you undergo an exorcism.'" Marco now lives temporarily in one of Russia's largest cities, waiting to complete her documents so that she can leave Russia for good.
April 6 / BBC