Trans Men And Queer Women Have Been Swept Up In Chechnya’s Anti-LGBTQ Crackdown

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07/27/2019

The phone call that would change M.’s life came one spring evening in 2018. “You’re on the list,” the baritone voice on the other end of the line said. The caller identified himself as a member of the military and accused M. of indecent behavior. “We need to cleanse our republic of these people,” the voice said. The man didn’t say the word — he didn’t have to. M. knew the voice on the phone was implying he was both a woman and a lesbian. M. walked over to the window of his apartment, tugging the curtain closed against the dark outside, and asked, “Where is your evidence?” “We don’t need evidence,” the man replied. “The fact that you’re on the list already counts against you.”

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