Russian pop star Zelimkhan Bakayev reportedly a victim of Chechnya’s anti-gay regime

Russian singer Zelimkhan Bakayev, who was first reported to be missing in August, is speculated to have been detained by Chechen authorities as part of their anti-gay regime.

According to sources believe he was killed shortly after his arrival in the country.

Family and friends haven’t heard from the Russian singer since he went missing on 8 August. According to NewNowNexthis family are unaware of his current location and have been unable to gain answers from officials. A source told the publication, “He arrived in Grozny and was picked up by police within three hours. Within ten hours he was murdered.”

Furthermore, his Instagram account has been deleted with no word from the singer.

Chairman of Russian LGBT Network Igor Kocketkov has claimed that other figures from Chechnya’s entertainment industry were tortured as the authorities attempted to gain information on Bakayev.

In a press conference, Kotketkov said, “At the end of August, we received confirmation of our earlier presumption that Bakayev was detained by Chechen authorities due to suspicion of homosexuality.” However, senior officials claimed the singer was safe.

Videos emerged showing a man resembling the star saying that he was enjoying life in Germany. However, there’s been some doubt about the legitimacy of the videos as some claim it features Russian furniture.

Last week, Maxim Lapunov became the first victim to waive his anonymity and come forward about torture from Chechen officials as part of their ‘gay purge’.