Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has publicly declared he wants to see his country’s LGBT community eliminated by the start of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
British foreign minister Alan Duncan revealed the threat today during a parliament session about the ongoing “purge” of homosexuals in Chechnya. More than 100 gay men have reportedly been detained and tortured in concentration camps, and at least four are believed to have been killed.
“Human rights groups report that these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,” Duncan stated. “He has carried out other violent campaigns in the past, and this time he is directing his efforts at the LGBT community. Sources have said that he wants the [LGBT] community eliminated by the start of Ramadan.”
Ramadan starts on May 26, and is widely celebrated in predominantly Muslim Chechnya, which is part of the the Russian federation but it has its own government and legal system. Kadyrov reportedly made the threat on local Russian-language media.
Representatives from the U.K. and U.S., as well as the U.N., have all urged the Russian government to take action against these human rights abuses. But Putin press secretary Dmitry Peskov claims investigators have found no evidence to support reports of any gay purge in Chechnya.
Kadyrov similarly denied that any persecution is taking place, because no gay people exist in Chechnya.
This week, Vladimir Putin met with Kadyrov, who told him not to believe “provocative” articles about the purge, and accused international humanitarian organizations of conducting a “massive information attack using the most unworthy methods.”