Law enforcement bodies to verify information on Chechnya homophobic cleanups

Law enforcement bodies to verify information on Chechnya homophobic cleanups
Dmitry Peskov said law enforcement agencies would check the media information

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that those citizens who believe their rights in Chechnya were violated can file complaints and go to court.

Head of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Russia Mikhail Fedotov called for an urgent check of Novaya Gazeta’s reports about mass detentions and killings of gays in Chechnya.

"If it is true, then it is villainous. That is why it is necessary to take urgent measures to verify this information. I talked with members of the Chechen HRC. They cannot confirm or deny this information", – Fedotov said in an interview with RBC.

Saturday, April 1, there saw reports that there were homophobic sweeps in Chechnya for several weeks, which resulted in more than 100 people detained and 3 people killed. According to the publication, the cleanup is associated with the intentions of LGBT activists from other regions to hold gay parades in the cities of the North Caucasus.

Spokesman for Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov Alvi Karimov claimed that there were no gays in the republic, and called information about cleaups false. "You can not detain and oppress someone who simply does not exist in the Republic", – he said.

Member of the HRC under the Head of Chechnya Kheda Saratova stated that she "had not received a single statement about the murder of homosexuals, but if she had, she would not consider it". Later she explained that she had been shocked by the reports and had been in an inadequate state, and her words were misunderstood.

Meanwhile, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that law enforcement agencies would check information about the attacks and killings of gays in Chechnya. 

"We do not know to which degree this information corresponds to reality. Of course, there are publications, and the internal affairs agencies will check this", – Peskov said.

He also explained that citizens, who believe that their rights have been violated, could file the corresponding complaints and apply to the court.

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