After initially denying reports that
gay men are being persecuted in Chechnya, President Ramzan Kadyrov
has reportedly vowed to eliminate gay men from the region by the
start of Ramadan, May 26.
Reports of police in Chechnya, a
Muslim-majority republic of Russia, torturing and killing men
suspected of being gay or bisexual started appearing earlier this
Russian newspaper Novaya Gaceta
broke the story, reporting that more than 100 men have been detained
and three killed in the anti-gay campaign, including several
well-known local television personalities and religious figures.
Kadyrov has denied the newspaper's
claims, saying through a spokesman that there were no gay men in
Chechnya and if there were, their relatives “would send them
somewhere from which there is no returning,” a reference to honor
But reports continue to surface,
including a The New York Times story which includes first-hand
accounts of beatings of gay men at the hands of authorities.
“Gays in Chechnya and the North
Caucasus are in lethal danger,” Igor Kochetkov, director of the
Russian LGBT Network, told
“People whose partners are detained have every reason to believe
they will be arrested. It is very hard not to name the names under
On Friday, UK-based
reported on a British politician's comments to Parliament.
“Human rights groups report that
these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of
the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,” Sir Alan Duncan, an openly
gay Conservative MP, said in a speech to Parliament on Wednesday.
“He has carried out other violent campaigns in the past, and this
time he is directing his efforts to the LGBT community. Sources have
said that he wants the community eliminated by the start of Ramadan.”
PinkNews said that Britain's
Foreign Office had confirmed that Kadyrov made the comments in local