Kadyrov to Putin: One of "killed Chechen gays" found alive at home
At the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin the Head of Chechnya called publications about sweeping purge of gays "provocation" and gave an example.
During the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of Chechnya, called reports about the "cleansing" of homosexuals in Chechnya "provocation". According to RIA Novosti, Kadyrov stressed that "unchecked facts" of this kind appear in the media two or three times a year.
"Good people write about the fact that we have detentions in the Republic. It is embarrassing to even talk about it. Allegedly, people are detained there, killed, even one last name was specified", - Kadyrov said.
And this person, about whom it was written that he was killed, showed up, according to the Head of Chechnya, in the place of residence.
"They insulted him with a direct text, and then they accused him of the fact that the authorities killed him, and he is alive, robust and is at home", - Kadyrov said.
The article in Novaya Gazeta, which Ramzan Kadyrov called "provocative", was published on April, 1. It was reported that large-scale repressions were being carried out in the Chechen Republic against people of nonstandard sexual orientation. The publication reported on illegal detention, torture and at least three murders of people suspected of homosexuality. Then there was information about two secret gay prisons in Argun and Tsotsi-Yurta, in which they were tortured and kept under inhuman conditions. Novaya Gazeta, in particular, called Speaker of the Chechen Parliament Magomed Daudov (call sign Lord) as the direct curator of the sweeping purge, which, according to the publication, was carried out by the Interior Ministry and Rosgvardia units in the republic.
The publications provoked an aggressive reaction from the official representatives of Chechnya. Kadyrov's press secretary Alvi Karimov said that "one can not detain and suppress someone who simply does not exist in the Republic", noting that "if there were gay people in Chechnya, their relatives would send them to the address from which they would not return". A member of the HRC under the head of the republic, Kheda Saratova noted that there were no claims about the loss of people and the murder, and if there were, "she would not consider a homosexual homicide".
On April 13 Novaya Gazeta reported on threats to the editorial board, which were voiced during the High Assembly of leaders of the clergy and public figures of Chechnya in the main mosque of Grozny. Speaking to the audience, adviser to the head of Chechnya Adam Shakhidov accused the editorial board of Novaya Gazeta of slandering and labeled it as "enemies of our faith and our homeland". After the scandal was commented by Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said that "the Kremlin is watching the situation and opposes illegal methods of influencing journalists", Chechnya's mufti Salah-haji Mezhiev said that it was "the retribution of Allah Almighty" and about bringing slanderers to justice.
Earlier Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov had said that the Kremlin knows about the publications of Novaya Gazeta, but do not have information about how much this information corresponds to reality. Peskov also added that law enforcement agencies would check this information.
The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Chechen Republic, Nurdi Nukhazhiev in his comment to RBC called the publication in Novaya Gazeta a "complete nonsense" and an attempt to initiate a "scandal defaming Chechen society".
The editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, said that he had asked Yuri Chaika, Russia's Attorney General, to oblige the Investigative Committee to carry out an investigation on the facts cited by the newspaper. However, according to RBC, the Investigative Committee reported that there had been no claims of harassment of homosexuals in Chechnya, and reports of threats against journalists were being checked. Earlier Tatyana Moskalkova, the human rights ombudsman in Russia, also stated that the Prosecutor General's Office, the Investigative Committee and the MIA of Chechnya had not received any claims of kidnapping. At the meeting on human rights that was held in Grozny on April 16, Ramzan Kadyrov was reported about the same by the heads of these departments in the Republic.