Chechen gays attributed to accomplices of terrorists

Chechen gays attributed to accomplices of terrorists
Commissioner for Human Rights in Chechnya Kheda Saratova

Kheda Saratova denies the existence of people of non-traditional orientation in the Republic.⁠

Member of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Republic Kheda Saratova stated that information about sexual minorities in Chechnya was slander in response to Novaya Gazeta's concern over threats to journalists coming from Chechnya. As she said to RBC, those people Novaya Gazeta wrote about were not gay, but the people suspected of aiding terrorists, detained in December last year, whose degree of guilt should be determined by the investigation.

She confirmed that representatives of the clergy of Chechnya intended to file a lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta about slander. She added that now its content is being discussed and to which court it will be sent.

Immediately after the first publication on the detentions and even the killings of people of non-traditional orientation in Chechnya, Kheda Saratova stated that Chechen law enforcement agencies and the judiciary would treat the murder of a homosexual by his relatives with understanding. She herself would not even consider complaints from them if she received them. However, later she admitted that at the time of her statements she was "slightly insane".

In his turn, the spokesman for Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Alvi Karimov, announced the absence of homosexuals in the Republic. "You can not detain and oppress someone who simply does not exist", – he said, describing the newspaper's material as "disinformation".

A few days later representatives of Chechen clans, Islamic theologians and leaders of public opinion in Chechnya – about 15 thousand people – convened in the central mosque of Grozny. The resolution adopted at the end of the meeting included a promise to punish, in their opinion, instigators, wherever and whoever they were.

The Kremlin said they were monitoring the situation. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian president, advised using the legal methods of challenging slanderous, in someone’s opinion, materials, and spoke sharply against any other methods of influence.

Novaya Gazeta reported on mass detentions, tortures and at least three murders of homosexuals in the Chechen Republic on April, 1. The publication caused calls to investigate the published data from the world community and angry denials of official Chechen representatives.

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