Chechnya leader rejects reports of gay torture

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London, April 21 (IANS) Chechnyas leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied reports of torture against homosexuals, the media reported on Friday.

Earlier this month, local daily Novaya Gazeta alleged that more than 100 Chechen men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and at least three killed.

During a televised meeting on Wednesday evening in the Kremlin, Kadyrov raised the “provocative articles about the Chechen Republic, the supposed events, the supposed detentions”, the Guardian quoted the daily as saying

Putin did not ask him to clarify his comments or ask follow-up questions.

According to one victim, he was first set up by Chechen officials last October.

He exchanged photographs with a man on social media and they agreed to meet for a date.

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When they met, instead of taking him to his country house as promised, the man drove him to a forest clearing, where three men in military uniform stripped him naked and beat him up, while another filmed, the victim told the Guardian.

“They shouted insults at me, they broke my jaw… They told me I had to pay them a huge bribe or they’d tell my family I was gay,” the victim said.

The victim said he paid the bribe, but when rumours began swirling around Chechnya of the gay persecutions, he fled.

Many Chechen gay men who have fled and are in Russia said they fear reprisals. Some European countries have agreed to expedite visas for a small number of the men.

Novaya Gazeta, the Russian daily which first broke the story, has been the subject of threats from Chechen Islamic and societal leaders.

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Kadyrov said during his meeting with Putin that it was “unthinkable” that anyone in Chechnya would threaten journalists.



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