Person of the Week: Aminat Lorsanova

Week-ending 24 January 2020

Young Russian Tries to Sue Over Violent Lesbian ‘Exorcism’ in Chechnya 
The practice of “exorcising” LGBT people is prevalent both in Chechnya and among the Chechen diaspora, activists say. A young woman from Russia’s conservative republic of Chechnya is seeking criminal charges against her parents, one of their acquaintances and a psychiatric clinic for allegedly torturing her based on her sexual orientation, a Russian LGBT support group said Tuesday.  The latest incident comes after widespread reports of anti-gay abuse, including torture and killings, in the majority-Muslim region in recent years. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied the existence of gay people in Chechnya, a claim that Russia has also submitted to the UN.  Aminat Lorsanova, 22, who fled Russia with the LGBT Network support group’s help last year, alleges that she was illegally held at two Chechen clinics for a total of five months in 2018. While in detention, Lorsanova claims her parents’ acquaintance beat her on several occasions with a stick while reading the Quran in a practice he called an Islamic “exorcism.” The Moscow Times, 22 January 2020 

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