Maxim Lapunov. Screenshot from video posted by euronews in Russian:

17 June 2019, 21:54

Lapunov calls missing Volgograd resident inmate of Chechen gay prison

The investigating authorities have received the testimonies of Maxim Lapunov that along with him the secret gay prison in Chechnya also kept Andrei Kobyshev, a native of the Volgograd Region, who had disappeared in Grozny, the Radio Liberty reports with reference to Vladimir Smirnov, a lawyer of the Committee Against Torture (CAT).

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on October 16, 2017, Maxim Lapunov, a native of the Omsk Region, said that he was detained in Chechnya on suspicion of homosexuality and spent 12 days in the basement of the criminal investigation division of the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), where he was beaten up. Later, Lapunov was forced to leave Russia because of threats. He unsuccessfully seeks inquiry into his applications.

In the basement, where he himself was kept in March 2017, Maxim Lapunov saw Andrei Kobyshev, a native of the Volgograd Region, who disappeared in Grozny in the spring of 2017.

According to Vladimir Smirnov, on March 1 this year, he personally handed over Lapunov's testimonies about Kobyshev to Tatiana Moskalkova, the Russia's Ombudsperson; and on March 18, the Ombudsperson's office reported that these testimonies had been transferred to Igor Krasnov, Deputy Chairman of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF).

"The Kobyshev's case is a murder case, a real, initiated murder case. And here, we point to a witness, Maxim, who says that he had seen Andrei in his last days. But Russian investigators do nothing about it, just nothing. They not only hamper Lapunov's case as such, but refuse to undertake anything in the Kobyshev's murder case either," Vladimir Smirnov has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 17, 2019 at 06:36 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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