The Chechen refugee who told Time magazine about persecution against gays is now begging the Chechen people and authorities for forgiveness
Chechen refugee Movsar Eskarkhanov, the man who spoke to Time magazine’s Simon Shuster this September about being gay in Chechnya, has apologized to the Chechen people and government for “shaming them,” according to the BBC’s Russian-language service. On November 13, the state-run television network Grozny reportedly published a video of Eskarkhanov’s apology.
Presented as a “front-page investigation,” the TV station describes Eskarkhanov as a “mentally ill person” who “invented” a story about being gay, which the Western press later “sensationalized.” “What aims did [these media outlets] actually pursue? Who profited from exposing him in an unfavorable light, blackening his honor and the honor of the entire Chechen people?” Grozny’s correspondent asks viewers.
According to the BBC, Grozny’s report accuses Western journalists of “framing” Eskarkhanov and “disgracing him before the Chechen people and Chechnya’s ruler.”
“Therefore I ask the forgiveness of Chechnya’s people, Chechnya’s leadership, and the Chechens living in the North Caucasus and in Europe,” Eskarkhanov told Grozny television, according to the BBC.
On Monday, November 14, the Chechen state-run TV network aired a promotion for its report on Eskarkhanov, where he claims that Time magazine intentionally disgraced the Chechen people with its September report about him. Eskarkhanov says he contacted the Western journalists himself for that story, and they supposedly agreed to help him obtain documents in Germany, but they later abandoned him, he says.