How did you get into rehab?
“Since childhood, I have had problems with my family. I was often beaten, forced to pray and used physical and psychological violence, they didn’t let me out of the house anywhere. I could only go to school, that's all. I didn't even have a chance to go to the store. Parents often swore, could fight. My mother could beat me because of all sorts of little things - she didn’t wash the dishes, she didn’t make the bed, she didn’t return home on time, she didn’t pray. The father did not use much violence. I remember only a couple of times in my childhood I was beaten with a belt. And when I returned after the rehabilitation center, he also beat me a couple of times. Most of the time, my mother did it all.
From a certain age, I realized myself as a bisexual person. I decided that I needed to leave home, as this could be a problem. At the age of 17, I turned to the LGBT community "Network", but, since I was a minor, they could not help me. I decided to wait until I entered the university and apply to the organization again during the New Year holidays. But when I entered, I met other representatives of the LGBT community, other individuals who also ran away from home. And they lived quietly in Makhachkala. I decided that I could do it too, and decided to wait until the summer.
In the summer, before the start of the holidays, I wrote to my mother that I would not return home, because I understood that they would not accept me. After that I blocked her and changed my number. At that time I had a young man, and I told him about all this. We went to a neighboring town, to Kaspiysk, and I stayed there for two days. When we left, a friend wrote to me. At that time, my parents were already looking for me, a friend threw off the number of the policeman and said: “He seems to be adequate. You can talk to him." I agreed, I had no dealings with the police before. He was a rather polite person. He said, “I understand you have problems. I'm sitting on my own right now, minding my own business. My wife is sick, I need to bring her medicine. Could you drive up to the department, just write a receipt that you voluntarily left home, and we will let you go?“
I decided okay. We drove up with a young man to the department in Kaspiysk, I was told that I had to wait until a police officer arrived. I waited 40-45 minutes. A car drove up, two men got out of it, took me away and took me to Makhachkala, to the Sovetskoye police department. They explained this by saying that the receipt should be written where they left. We entered the Sovetskoye District Department of Internal Affairs and went up to the second floor. My young man and I were taken to different offices, and in the end I was simply given to my parents. I didn't want to go back to them. I asked them not to give me to them, but they did. I stayed at home for a week. Twice I was taken to “cast out the genies”, but the theologians said that everything was fine, my behavior was allegedly influenced by the phone and the environment, but there are no jinn in me.
My parents wanted to marry me to my young man, because I left with him, and marriage is needed, because “people can think something wrong.” That's the only reason they didn't take my phone. A week later, I tried to leave the house again, and I succeeded. This time I stayed in Makhachkala away from home for a month. I found a job, rented a room and was already thinking of renting an apartment.
Twice they took me to cast out genies, but the theologians said that everything was fine: it was all just a phone and the influence of some company, but there were no jinn
July 23, 2021 I was with a friend. It was afternoon, he left for work. He had only one key, he said: “I’m going to work now, I’ll close the door, you don’t need to go anywhere, and I’ll come back.” He left, and my boyfriend started calling me. He asked where I was, if I could go out for a walk now. I said, “No, I am very tired. I'm with a friend now." He knew where it was. After 10–15 minutes, the same friend began to write to me that some police officers were calling him. They say that they know that he has me, that he has the keys, and they ask me to drive up to open the door. He arrived, went into the apartment, and two men came after him. They filmed everything. They showed me their ID and said that they were police officers and that I needed to go with them. I got out and they put me in a black Priora with no license plates. I asked them which department we were going to. They said: “You will find out for yourself where we are going.”
We drove not so far and drove into the courtyard of a private three-story house. They took me to the house. All windows and doors were barred. It was the secret police, combined with the living room. I sat in a chair, they sat opposite me and said: “Now you are in a rehabilitation center for drug addicts and alcoholics. Your parents turned to us and asked us to help find you.” I asked them, “How is it? I'm not dependent. I have never used drugs, I have no addiction to alcohol, I do not have a gambling problem. They said: “Your parents contacted us, and we just found you. Now you will be here." The organization was called the Recovery Alliance.
In addition, they said that they also ran away from home, were the same in childhood and eventually turned to drugs. Therefore, I am also addicted, I just have not used it yet. I am just like them. I stayed there for four months and constantly observed the beatings of “rehabilitators”, torture for some of their offenses. But I was lucky they didn't do anything to me. The maximum was forced to write the text all night long: “I am an irresponsible lazy junkie who does not care about his life and much more, who is used to living in the old way and not changing anything in his life. If I continue to live like this, I will certainly die just under the fence. It had to be written at least 100 times, on average - 300. If something serious, they could give 500 times. The rest of the attitude was much tougher. I was an 18-year-old girl, a friend of their friends, and they treated me more loyally. Others could be beaten, they could be forced to do push-ups, squat, they could simply hang on tiptoe handcuffed to the railing for a day, and so on.
They could be beaten, they could be forced to do push-ups, squat, they could just hang on tiptoe handcuffed to the railing for a day, and so on.
While I was in the rehabilitation center, I was not allowed to communicate with my parents. During all this time they were not allowed to meet with them or talk on the phone. The parents themselves asked the director of the center, Mukhammed Shapiev, to connect them with me, but he did not allow it. He said that this would complicate the situation, that everything was going well with me, and now I would remember my relatives, talk to them, and everything would be bad again. And none of us, from the "rehabilitators", were not allowed to see and talk with relatives. In principle, nothing was said about bisexuality in the center. Only the director, when I drove into the center: “Aren't you ashamed? I looked at your subscriptions, you have some kind of LGBT communities there. This is all your company, informals. Why are you doing this?' To be honest, they didn't care about the 'rehabilitators'. They didn't really care for them. I was forced to say that I was "addicted". But two quarreled guys were somehow handcuffed to a tree. One of them hung like that all night.
How did you manage to escape
I was in the center for four months, then my parents took me away. At first everything was fine, but then conflicts began again, as my parents saw that I had not become religious and had not changed. From November 23 to August 13, I was at home. I didn't have a phone or a way to contact anyone. For the last three or four months, every day I said to myself: “Today I will run away, today I will run away.” And every time it was delayed. Everything was complicated by the fact that they hid my passport from me. A week before I ran away, when my parents were at work, I had to search the whole house, and I found it.
The clothes had already been collected for several months in advance, so that it was not noticeable, so that I could immediately take it and put it in a backpack. Everything was complicated by the fact that I lived in a room not alone, but with my sister. But it was impossible to postpone the escape. I found out that my parents want to send me to an Islamic center in Chechnya, and from there I would not be able to get out. September was approaching, I understood that I had to hurry, it was time to act. One evening I stole my passport and put my sister's passport in its place. At four in the morning, while everyone was sleeping, I packed my things and left.
I found out that my parents want to send me to an Islamic center in Chechnya, and from there I would not be able to get out. It was time to act
Sisters and brother stayed at home. They fully support their parents, but I still love them very much. I would really like to contact them, but I understand that it will not be safe, because they will tell their parents anyway. So I don't think I'll ever get in touch with them. I will not return home. Even if my parents apologize, accept me, my cousins, uncles, aunts remain who will not support this.
My parents can't contact me directly because they don't know my number. They contacted human rights activist Svetlana Anokhina and wrote to her that there was nothing like that, everything was fine, and they allegedly did not send me to the center. My parents did not explain to me why they put me in this center. They said that they did not know what to do with me - with my behavior and orientation. Other relatives also know that I am bisexual. They were very afraid that other people might find out about it.
Now I am in relative safety. I'm trying to find myself again. I loved physics, mathematics and astronomy, I was very fond of science. I had many hobbies and hobbies, but after the rehabilitation center, to be honest, I felt that I was lost. Lost interest in everything. Perhaps in the future I will be able to do science again and study to be a physicist.”
The center that doesn't exist
The organization "Alliance Recovery" really exists. More precisely, it existed - the site stopped working immediately after the media began to write about the story with Elina, but it was preserved in the web archive.
The site says that the center has been issued a license number LO-05-01-001095. A license with this number was issued to the state budgetary institution of the Republic of Dagestan "Republican Narcological Dispensary". At the same time, the republican organization has its own website . There is no connection between her and the one where Elina was kept in public sources. The GBU itself reported that they were “cooperating” with various organizations, but found it difficult to answer whether the state institution was connected with the torture “rehabilitation center”. “We have several organizational agreements. But we do not give any licenses to anyone, ”the GBU told The Insider.
Gaziev Magomedshapi was listed as the director of Alliance Recovery on the site, according to Spark, only one company ZIMA-SUMMER SERVICE LLC is registered with him, the main activity is Electrical Installation Works.