“We managed to unite almost all the LGBT organizations existing today in the world in order to deal with the evacuation of people from Russia”, - says David Isteyev, a former journalist “involved in programs for transgender people,” and now the coordinator of the emergency assistance program for the Russian LGBT -network, on whose behalf the film is narrated.
“At the end of March, we began to receive the first messages from Chechnya that mass detentions of gays were taking place there. Initially, it was fragmentary information: people are being detained, tortured with electric current, and this is happening by order of the head of the Chechen Republic.
It is completely pointless to resist the Chechen police.
Being gay in Chechnya is a shame. That is, for a family to find out that someone is gay is such a terrible shame that can only be washed away with blood.
The Russian government did nothing to stop this.
It seems unrealistic to imagine that in the 21st century, while still in a secular country, such things happen when people for homosexual orientation are killed, when they are maimed, when their families call to murder their sons and brothers”, - says David Isteyev.
Everything, according to Isteyev, started "quite by accident."
In the winter of 2017, an anti-drug raid took place in Chechnya. And when the Chechen police took the phone of one of the detainees for checking, it turned out that he was gay.
“We found quite a lot of photos and intimate correspondence on his phone. From this, in fact, this story began. The person was tortured, beaten, and elicited information from him. He became the one who then turned over the whole chain, it went like a chain reaction. People were detained, they handed over ten more people. If they fell under suspicion, they automatically fell under torture. Their relatives were advised to kill them. And almost immediately (we) made a decision to rescue and evacuate people”, - says David Isteyev.
Word of mouth went off, his phone began to walk from person to person.
“We had to create something that had never existed before: it was decided to organize a shelter (shelter - approx." NI ") in Moscow. In just two weeks we took out the first 15 people and placed them in our shelter. And that was just the beginning”, - Isteyev says.
"The film contains footage that may shock some viewers," reads the warning to the tape. Indeed, in "Welcome to Chechnya" there are operational footage of the arrests of gays, as well as photographs of the injuries inflicted on them - blood, hematomas.
“The genocide in Chechnya concerns not only gays, it also affected lesbians, of course. ... They are locked at home. They are simply beaten. Nobody knows about it, does not hear. And they just die from violence, from the fact that no one can help them”, - says Olga Baranova , director of the Moscow community center for LGBT + initiatives, and coordinator of the emergency program of the Russian LGBT network David Isteyev.
Meanwhile, in the film you can see a fragment of an interview with Ramzan Kadyrov, where he, answering a question about the abductions and torture of gays in the republic, answers: “This is nonsense. We don't have such people".
The story of one of the exported Chechen gays (the features of his speech are preserved - noted by Novye Izvestia):
“They tied me up and took me to Argun. Six to eight people were assigned to each room. I was ready to lie down on the asphalt and sleep, because there was already unbearable smell ... ... And so they took me there and said, like, if you don't want us to torture you, hand over those you know. Of course, they didn't believe that I didn't know anyone else, they tortured me. Wires were tied to this finger and to this one and a current was applied. The nose was broken yet. Then, when we were already coming to our senses, they began to torture us again - with an electric current, a club ...
I felt sorry, well, when they were tortured very hard... The rat was laid on its back, the pan was laid up and this pan was heated, and the rat in this pan, in short, the whole back... Well, this person, they said, died, well, when it happened in Argun ... Well, many died there, to be honest... ... Some of them killed their own people, who could not hold out from torture. There can be no such thing, they said, well, how to say... Such, they said, it is necessary to kill basically. Well, they said, this cannot be... You are not Chechens. Like this".
The film also tells about the disappearance of the "fairly well-known" Chechen singer Zelimkhan Bakayev.
"- Also gay?", "- Even unknown, but what do you think?"
Zelimkhan arrived in Grozny for his sister's wedding in early August, left the house and disappeared. The singer's mother appealed to the head of Chechnya with a plea for help in finding her son.
According to Ramzan Kadyrov, he has a joint photo with the performer, he knows the young man, he saw when he met with the artists. “Hey, Kadyrov, give Bakaev back, and if you don’t give Bakayev, look at me!” They have to look for him in their family! ”Kadyrov stressed.
“There are many versions of what happened to him, practically no one has reliable information. But according to eyewitnesses, he was detained by the Chechen police. We have no doubts that he was detained because of his sexual orientation, ”commented David Isteyev.
“We didn’t have such experience ... After all, we need to hide people, we need to make them visas, look for some secret ways of getting them out of the country ...”, says Olga Baranova.
“Well, that is, getting almost 25 people per month is a lot. We had to build contacts with foreign partners. They help us financially, help us logistically. We really managed to unite almost all the LGBT organizations existing today in the world in order to be engaged in the evacuation of people from Russia”, - David Isteyev said in the BBC film.
To date, the film "Welcome to Chechnya" has gained almost 90,000 views on YouTube. In the comments, users note that many of the characters have changed faces in the feed - they used computer graphics.
Worst: The neural network changes faces, a good example of how it works.
fogost: How qualitatively neurons replace people's faces for the first 10 minutes I did not even notice that the faces were replaced
Kioko Sanbary: The face swap is very cool. Neural network faces are much better for perception than black squares.
Also, commentators, of course, write to the point (spelling and punctuation are preserved):
Nadezhda Tambovtseva Impunity breeds new crimes! First gay, then everyone else! Will affect every family!
Yura batya Middle Ages some kind of horror
kis kar They live for themselves, do not bother anyone !! what difference does it make who sleeps with whom ??
Lana boiko I can't look, it's hard. "People" who are you? Who gave you the right? Yes, I don't understand this direction either, but this is their life. Everyone has the right to live as he wants and can. We will all answer before God. Oh, I can't, I can't. The soul shrank!
Marina Sklyar I hate everyone who creates these horrors with people. Fiends.