Vladimir Putin backs investigation into Chechnya ‘gay purge’

Saturday, May 6th, 2017, 11:09 am

Authorities will look into reports of brutality and persecution of those with a “non-traditional sexual orientation”.

President Vladimir Putin has said he will intervene over reports of gay men in the Chechnya region being locked up and tortured.

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

More than 100 gay men were arrested and tortured, at least two killed by relatives and one died in custody, the Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported in April.

It said people had been told to kill gay family members to “wash clean their honour”.

One man told Sky News how he was forced to flee Chechnya after police turned up at his home looking for him, while another said he was electrocuted and beaten.

The Russian leader has now agreed to an investigation into “the well-known information, or rumours” about people “with a non-traditional sexual orientation”.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov attends the dedication ceremony of a new mosque in the Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh, west of Jerusalem on March 23 2014.The Chechen government contributed six million dollars to help fund the building of the new Mosque. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the conservative and Muslim region, has denied the claims but following Mr Putin’s invention said officials would look into it.

However, the rigour of the investigation could be another matter – Mr Kadyrov believes Chechnya does not have any gay people.

“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,” he said.