The White House has said it is
concerned about anti-gay comments made by Chechen leader Ramzan
Appearing on HBO's Real Sports with
Bryant Gumbel, Kadyrov was asked about reports that some 100 gay
men have been arrested and brutally tortured in the Russian republic.
Some of the victims have come forward to talk to reporters about the
persecution they faced.
“This is nonsense,” Kadyrov
answered. “We don't have these kinds of people here. We don't
have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”
“Praise be to God. Take them far
from us so we don't have them at home. To purify our blood. If they
are any here, take them,” he added.
Reports of a gay purge in Chechnya
began to surface in April. The campaign has reportedly resulted in
the deaths of 26 men suspected of being gay since the start of this
HBO released portions of the interview
before it aired the episode on Tuesday.
According to the AP, U.S. State
Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday that
the department found Kadyrov's comments “very concerning and also
upsetting.” She added that the issue had been raised with Russian
officials “at the highest levels.”
Tillerson has not raised the issue of attacks on gay men in Chechnya