Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadryov, who ordered Chechnya’s anti-gay purge, has been added to the Magnitsky List, which seeks to punish suspected human rights abusers. Under the Magnitsky Act, those on this list are barred from entering the country and any assets they hold in U.S. banks are frozen.
As of June 2017, the Chechen government has imprisoned over 100 LBGT men in what was widely described as “gay concentration camps.” 27 were reportedly killed.
Kadyrov, however, has long denied the existence of gay men in the country, telling HBO reporter David Scott back in July that if they were present in Chechnya that he’d “take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, wrote in a statement today, “Sanctioning those responsible for the horrendous anti-LGBTQ persecution in Chechnya, including Ramzan Kadyrov, is a step towards holding human rights abusers accountable for their atrocities and was a needed action to show that human rights must be prioritized above the personal politics of this administration.”
Ellis continued, “We cannot stop here as we face a growing epidemic of anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination around the world that must be swiftly and fully addressed.”