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‘I Could Barely Even Crawl’: Victim of Chechnya’s ‘Gay Purge’ Was Tortured, Beaten in ‘Blood-Soaked’ Jail Cell

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‘I Felt From All They Said and Acted They Would Kill Me in the End’

A brave gay Russian man is the first to publicly come forward and describe the horrific and sometimes deadly treatment Chechnya is inflicting on LGBT people in what is being described around the world as a “gay purge.”

30-year old Maxim Lapunov of Russia moved to Chechnya on business. He says he was ordered by two plain-clothes Chechen security forces, according to The Guardian, to go with them to what he thought was a police station, where he was kept in a “blood-soaked” jail cell in the basement. For 12 days he was tortured and beaten as guards attempted to force him to name his sexual partners so they too could be abducted.

“The only charge they made was that I was gay,” Lapunov said at a press conference in Moscow on Monday, as CBC news reports.

“One part of the jail cell was already blood-soaked,” Lapunov told reporters. “Then they started to beat me, and every 10 to 15 minutes they would come in and yell, ‘He’s gay and people like him should be killed.’ I felt from all they said and acted they would kill me in the end.”

“They put my face to the wall. They beat me on the back of my legs and hips,” Lapunov said. “I would collapse and they would give me a chance to catch my breath before telling me to get up again. And it would start again.”

In this video clip from Monday’s press conference, Lapunov tells reporters he was beaten so badly he “could barely even crawl.”

I want to ask the government to investigate, because we are all people and all have rights,” Lapunov said Monday.

Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta was the first to break then news of Chechnya’s gay purge, and reports Lapunov came forward saying, “The only thing that I would like at the moment is justice, which should happen.” 

CBC News notes “global human rights groups have condemned” Chechnya’s gay purge “as a Nazi-like effort to rid the region of gay people.”

The head of Chechnya is Ramzan Kadyrov, a “strongman” closely aligned with Vladimir Putin. His relationship to the Russian president has afforded him tremendous freedom to attack and persecute LGBT people.

More via Twitter below.

RELATED STORIES:

Not ‘Unusual’: Putin’s Spokesman Defends Chechnya Leader’s Call to Deport Gays to ‘Purify Our Blood’

Watch: Head of Chechnya Tells HBO Gays ‘Are Devils’ and Should Be Sent to Canada ‘To Purify Our Blood’

Secretary of State Tillerson Admits US Has Not Even Discussed Chechnya’s Anti-Gay Torture Camps With Russia

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices

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A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.

Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.

In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.

Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.

Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.

In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”

“Despite Americans supporting every component of this bill, María Elvira Salazar chose to play politics, lie to voters, and vote against legislation that will benefit American families.”

According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”

“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”

Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports

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Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.

“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”

READ MORE: Trump Jr. Whines for 13 Minutes About 15 Felony Count Indictment Against Family Company: ‘This Is What Russia Does’

Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.

Rolling Stone adds that Weiselberg “will say in Manhattan court Thursday that he conspired with several of the ex-president’s companies when he pleads guilty to state tax crimes,

The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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News

Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad

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Republican Mehmet Oz is having a tough time in his entrance to Pennsylvania politics. The multi-millionaire celebrity TV doctor, running for a U.S. Senate seat, released a video which this week went viral with liberals – and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor John Fetterman – picking it apart.

In the video, an attack ad on President Joe Biden, who he is not running against, Dr. Oz says he’s shopping at “Wegner’s,” a grocery store that does not exist. Internet sleuths deduced he was shopping at Redner’s, although some believe he was at Wegmans — including a Newsmax TV host, who Oz did not correct.

Why did he get something as simple as the name of a beloved Pennsylvania grocery store wrong?

“I was exhausted,” Oz told Newsmax, after “campaigning 18 hours a day.”

RELATED: ‘Gone Dark’: GOP Nominee Dr. Oz Has Disappeared From TV in Critical Senate Race – Report

He also admitted he gets the names of his children wrong.

Curiously, the 39-second video Oz recorded is from April, and it got criticized then, but he left it up – only for the Fetterman campaign to go after it again. Back in April it led to questions about his tremendous wealth, put at around $400 million, and calls of being a “carpetbagger,” as many say he actually lives in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.

Politico reports the Fetterman campaign “said it had raised more than $500,000 from the crudité video alone — including a sticker of the non-existent ‘Wegners.’ ‘Oz clearly has never been in a grocery store before. That’s why this is resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania,’ said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager.”

The Fetterman campaign appears to have created a “Wegner’s Groceries” account on Twitter, and is pounding Oz with snark.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters do not appear to be impressed with Oz.

One Republican poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points.

“New poll conducted by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Pittsburgh Works Together shows big leads for Dems in the PA Senate and governors races. Fetterman up 18 points over Oz,” reports Politico’s Alex Isenstadt. The Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro is up 15 points over Republican Doug Mastriano, he adds.

READ MORE: Watch: Dr. Oz Says Legalizing Marijuana Is ‘Giving Them Pot So They Stay Home’

Back over at Newsmax, here was host Shaun Kraisman hammering Oz:

“As you know, this video went viral,” Kraisman says, as Mediate reports. “You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more, putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegner’s – this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”

Kraisman later says, “I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegner’s? Can you explain that to them?”

“Yeah. I was exhausted. Well, you’re campaigning 18 hours a day. I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth.”

Kraisman also says, “it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”

“We’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about,” Oz replies, “and that we’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s what I’ll continue to do. I challenged my opponent. What have you done? Rolling your sleeves up in your own life to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania?”

Before he was elected Lt. Governor, Fetterman was elected mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, four times, and served for 13 years.

Oz concludes, “I’m the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges. Cost of living, crime, and our schools that afflict so many Pennsylvanians.”

Some have also questioned if Oz understands what job he’s running for.

U.S. Senators don’t have tremendous responsibility over their state’s cost of living, crime, and school issues. Nor do they “lead the Commonwealth,” as he said to the Newsmax host.

 

 

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