Maxim Lapunov. Screenshot from video posted by user euronews (in Russia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEdtOC14tSg

11 December 2018, 21:43

Maxim Lapunov tells Moskalkova about investigators' inaction

Maxim Lapunov, a gay who had declared his detention and torture in Chechnya, has again appealed Tatiana Moskalkova, the Russia's Ombudsperson with a request to assist in the investigation of his case.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Ms Moskalkova urged the Prosecutor's Office to join the check of Maxim Lapunov's complaint about the refusal to initiate a case about his detention and beating up in the building of the criminal investigation department in Chechnya. According to the Ombudsperson, the decision to refuse to initiate a case was motivated by his departure to another country.

On October 16, 2017, Maxim Lapunov said that he had been detained in Chechnya on suspicion of homosexuality and spent 12 days in the basement of the criminal investigation department of the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). According to his story, they beat him up there, forcing to call members of the Chechen LGBT community and appoint meetings with them, where they would detain them.

Investigators had an opportunity to check his allegations of torture by law enforcers in Chechnya, but would not do it, Maxim Lapunov has stated in his appeal to Ms Moskalkova, sent today by email to the Ombudsperson's reception office.

Mr Lapunov has commented on Moskalkova's statement about his departure, stating that in the fall of 2017 he willingly communicated with investigators. "I was ready and willing to go to Chechnya to identify the basement, in which I was kept, as well as the [law enforcers] themselves, who detained and beat me up. However, it was the investigators who refused to take me there," he has recalled, adding that investigators' inaction assured him that "the investigation is hopeless."

The young man has noted that he was forced to leave the country because of threats and a real danger to his life; and now he cannot come to Russia because he has received political asylum in another country.

"You say that I can contact you and you can help me. I again ask you to assist me in conducting an efficient investigation into my application," Maxim Lapunov has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 11, 2018 at 07:18 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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