Chechnya gay rights: Putin backs inquiry into hate crimes

Posted May 07, 2017

Mr Kadyrov's comments come after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he would communicate with the country's Prosecutor General and Minister of Internal Affairs about reports of the detention and torture of gay men in Chechnya.

The Kremlin leader broke his silence on the scandal on Friday, telling Russia's human rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova that he will intervene.

Earlier president of Russia Vladimir Putin reported that he is going to discuss with the Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and the Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, "information or rumors" on "what is happening in the North Caucasus with people of nonconventional sexual orientation".

"Human rights groups report that these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov", he also said.

Initial reports of gay men being detained in the region, which is subject to federal law as it falls under the Russian federation, were revealed by the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

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"Chechen society does not have the phenomenon called non-traditional sexual orientation: its people have lived for thousands of years according to different rules laid down by Allah", Kadyrov said.

Kadyrov said the Chechen authorities had not received any official reports of mistreatment from LGBT people in the republic.

As ILGA-Europe points out, a brutal campaign against gay and bisexual men has been sweeping through Chechnya in the past weeks. "Putin's track record concerning the LGBT community, and human rights more broadly, doesn't inspire confidence that his words will be matched with action", said Human Rights First's Shawn Gaylord. "Unless we are talking about those who aren't Chechens but say they are so that they can get to the West", the leader told Interfax news agency.

More than 600 demonstrators descended upon the Russian Embassy in Tel Aviv on Friday to protest the persecution of gay men in Chechnya.

But today she said that there needed to be a mechanism for victims to report abuse when they are outside Chechnya and asked Mr Putin to help create a working group to receive such complaints.