Ilya looks tired and drawn. After being beaten and tortured by men in military uniform in Russia's Chechnya region, he fled to Moscow but still fears for his life -- because he is gay.
"In Chechnya, I had no choice but to lie or die," says the 20-year-old. . . .
While casual homophobia is common in Russia, the problem is particularly acute in conservative Chechnya, where homosexuality is taboo and seen in many families as a moral failing that should be punished by death.
In late March, the Novaya Gazeta liberal newspaper -- known for critical reports on Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's iron-fisted ruler for the last decade -- published a shocking report that gay men had been rounded up.
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