Protests, pressure seek to end abuses in Chechnya

07 May, 2017, 13:28 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has called reports on the region's alleged persecution of gay men a

He told Russia's human rights ambassador, Tatyana Moskalkova, that he would personally "talk to the prosecutor-general and the interior minister".

Putin told Moskalkova he would, calling the reports about Chechnya "the well-known information, or rumors" about men "with a nontraditional sexual orientation", according to NBC News.

Kadyrov has been accused of major human rights abuses and running Chechnya as a mafia-like fiefdom.

Last month, the Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta and LGBT activists revealed that "more than 100 men" confirmed or suspected of being gay had been sent to prison camps for homosexuals in Chechnya where they are tortured and killed.

Mr Putin said he would personally "talk to the prosecutor-general and the interior minister" to ask them to help Kremlin rights ombudswoman Tatiana Moskalkova check the reports which have caused an global scandal.

"Chechen society doesn't have a feature known as the nonstandard sexual orientation it has lived for thousands of years by different rules, the ones that were bestowed on people by the Almighty, the ones taking root in the norms of morailty and ethics in human relations".

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But Mr Kadyrov claimed gay men in the republic were not true Chechens and were simply pretending to be Chechen in order to "get to the West".

The Russian president has faced repeated calls from the US, UK, and countries around the world calling for an end to the torture, illegal imprisonment, and murder of gay men in the autonomous region.

After a delay, Russian investigators have said they are probing the allegations.

On Tuesday, Merkel in a joint press conference with Putin urged him to "use his influence" to protect gays amid "very negative reports" coming out of Chechnya.

Ms Moskalkova asked Mr. Putin to set up a working group that would deal with the problem from Moscow, rather than in Chechnya, where much of law enforcement is considered loyal to Mr Kadyrov foremost.

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