In 2020, Salman Mukaev was jailed and tortured by Chechen Police because they thought he is gay. He managed to flee to Armenia, but now he is facing extradition to Russia, and ultimately back to Chechnya, which might mean a death sentence for him.
Update – 29 January 2024: Today, in a landmark decision, Armenia has taken a stand for human rights by refusing to extradite Salman to Russia. An Administrative Court in Yerevan ruled in Salman's favor, recognizing him as a refugee and granting him asylum in Armenia. The court's decision highlights the spread of threats to the freedom and personal integrity of LGBT+ community members, not limited to Chechnya but extending across the entire Russian Federation, after recent legal changes.
Update – 12 September 2023: Today, a court hearing took place on Salman’s fate. While we had high hopes for a positive resolution, which would save Salman’s life allowing him to go to a safe country, the court hearing concluded without a decision. A new crucial hearing is set for January 8 where Salman's fate could be decided. Your help is more essential than ever.
Salman Mukaev was born and raised in Chechnya. He is 39 and was a commodity expert in a clothing store. In March 2020, he was captured by Chechen police and taken to the Leninsky police department in Grozny because of a fake accusation that he is gay. For 7 days he was tortured, electrocuted, and beaten up. The only way out of that hell, they told him, was to pay a bail of 5 million rubles (over USD 70,000).
Salman was forced to reveal the names of other gay men, although he had never in his life thought about guys in a romantic or sexual way. During his detention, his entire family was informed that he was gay and that "explanatory" conversations were being held with him. After 7 days of torture, he was forced to sign blank sheets of paper, and the falsely accused of illegal storage of ammunition. A man who introduced himself as an FSS (Federal Security Services) officer let him go with an agreement that Salman would cooperate with Chechen security forces to get acquainted with gay men on the Internet, lure them to a special apartment with hidden video cameras, where they would be detained. Salman did not do this and left Chechnya the same day he was released. He turned to Сrisis Group “NC SOS” for help.
At the moment, Salman is in Armenia, a country in the European Union is ready to accept him and grant asylum, however, Armenia does not allow him to leave due to the fake criminal case initiated in Russia. Armenia threatens to send Salman back to Russia. There, he will be handed over to the Chechen security forces, which means torture again and, potentially, even extrajudicial execution. He faces death if he is sent to Russia.
Salman is the first heterosexual person who is ready to openly talk about the torture he experienced in Chechnya because of suspicion of homosexuality. Partially due to the stress experienced, Salman developed a lung tumor, which could be malignant. He needs to be examined and treated.
Help save Salman’s life by signing this petition, calling on Armenian authorities not to send him back to Russia. He was jailed and tortured by Chechen police, forced to cooperate, they tried to knock 5 million rubles out of him, and subsequently opened a fake criminal case.