More than a month after the first reports of an anti-gay purge in Chechnya, Russian president Vladimir Putin has finally approved an investigation into the allegations.
Tatyana Moskalkova, a former major general of the Interior Ministry and the Russian government’s leading human-rights official, reportedly asked today for authority to begin looking into claims that gay men are victims of persecution, detention and even murder in the autonomous region.
Putin approved, though he has previously said he had no reason to believe allegations of at least six concentration camps specifically for gay men, and police telling families to kill their gay children.
Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Putin to look into the allegations, echoing a similar call from the U.S. State Department last month.
As yet, President Trump has not addressed the issue.
Chechan president Ramzan Kadyrov denies there is a homosexual purge, or even homosexuals, exist in the republic, claiming, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist.” Despite that, he also announced he would rid the region of gay people by the start of Ramadan later this month.