Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Chechnya's Leader Says "We Have Never Had" Gay Men - just Fake Checkens

Chechnya's Leader Says

The president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov stunned global observers when he denied the arrests and torture had occurred, saying there are no homosexuals in Chechnya.

Although Kadyrov said said that he and the republic were open to investigation, he insisted that they had not received any "official reports" of the abuse of LGBT people.

German chancellor Angela Merkel publicly urged Mr. Putin to intervene after meeting him in Sochi on Tuesday.

However, Kadyrov continued to deny the existence of gay men in the republic.

Just a few weeks ago, "Ruslan" was with his wife and children in Chechnya.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a key ally of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, has allegedly vowed to eliminate the gay community by the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on May 26.

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After his ordeal, Anzor fled Chechnya and is now in hiding in Moscow, fearing not only for his own life but for the safety of his relatives.

Homophobia is widespread in Chechnya.

Following the initial exposure, it has been revealed that Chechnya authorities are forcing gay men into concentration camps, sparking an outcry from LGBT and human rights activists across the world.

The ombudswoman assured the president that Russian Federation has the right mechanisms, including witness protection programs, to safeguard the identity and wellbeing of any alleged victims.

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

"We have never had them (individuals with nonstandard sexual orientation) among us Chechens unless you deal with someone who isn't really Chechen but ascribes himself to our nationality in order to secure an opportunity to hit the road towards the West", Kadyrov said. In 2013, parliament passed a law imposing heavy fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under 18, sparking worldwide controversy.

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