Persecution of gays in Chechnya: Putin promised to talk with Prosecutor General's Office and MIA Head

Persecution of gays in Chechnya: Putin promised to talk with Prosecutor General's Office and MIA Head
Vladimir Putin and Tatyana Moskalkova

Tatyana Moskalkova, the human rights Ombudswoman, asked the Russian President to instruct the agencies to create an interdepartmental working group that will have to deal with the situation of violating the rights of homosexuals in the North Caucasus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would "talk" with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsov about the situation with homosexuals in the North Caucasus. The President's attention to the problem was drawn by Tatyana Moskalkova, the human rights Ombudswoman, who today, on May 5, presented Vladimir Putin an annual report on human rights in Russia.

At the meeting, Moskalkova said that after the appearance of information about mass detentions of LGBT people in Chechnya, she sent a number of motions to the Prosecutor's Office and the investigating authorities.

"I would ask you to give an order, perhaps, on the establishment of an interdepartmental working group that could accept applications from citizens here in the central part, and not in the territory of Chechnya," the human rights commissioner said. 

The Ombudswoman noted that to date, verification is hampered by the fact that people whose rights have been violated are not ready to give their names.

"I would like to say that, of course, I will talk with the Prosecutor General, the Minister of the Internal Affairs, so that they will support you on the subject that you raised now. We can know about the situation with LGBT members in the North Caucasus relying on media reports or rumors. This goes without saying. I hope, colleagues will respond and you will be supported," Vladimir Putin said.

Let us note that the Russian President publicly commented on the situation with the persecution of homosexuals in Chechnya for the first time.

Recall that the scandal associated with the persecution, torture and murder of gays in Chechnya began April 1 after the Novaya Gazeta's publication. In particular, journalists wrote about secret prisons for people of non-traditional sexual orientation (in Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt), where they are tortured and forced to disclose information about other representatives of LGBT communities known to them. Chechen politicians categorically denied this information, accusing journalists of slander and provocation, after which the meeting of the Chechen clergy issued a resolution on the retribution of the slanderers.

At a meeting with Vladimir Putin on April 19, the Head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, personally denied information about the persecution of gays. The Investigative Committee of Russia did not react to the statement of the edition about the initiation of a pre-investigation, but 2 weeks ago it was opened. It was reported that it is being conducted by the investigator for priority cases of the ICR Main Investigation Department, Colonel of the Legal Service Igor Sobol, who has extensive experience in the investigation of high-profile cases involving the North Caucasus. In addition, on April 24 Novaya Gazeta reported that the journalists handed personal information of 26 people illegally detainees and victims of extrajudicial executions in Chechnya to the investigators.

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