Chechen Government Blames 'Sick Imaginations Of Gay People' For Latest LGBT+ Purge

Authorities in Chechnya have dismissed reports of murder and imprisonment of LGBT+ people as a 'fantasy'.

Chechen authorities force a protestor carrying a rainbow flag into the back of a van.

Officials from the Chechen government have denied recent credible reports that two people have died by torture, while a further 40 people have been illegally detained since December in the region’s latest crackdown on the LGBT+ community.

Alvi Karimov, a spokesperson for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied the recent reports of persecution, calling them “complete lies” that “don’t have an ounce of truth in them”.

The Minister of National Policy, Dzhambulet Umarov also denied the reports, calling them a “fantasy”. Speaking to the press, Umarov said:

“Considering the fact that they [LGBT+ people] have sick imaginations to start from, I am not surprised that they can write nonsense like that.”

A member of the Russian LGBT Network spoke to The Daily Beast about the persecution of LGBT+ people in the region, but chose to stay anonymous in order to protect their identity:

“Chechen authorities demanded that relatives punish their gay families by executing them. Several people who managed to escape have been raped with police clubs and tortured with electricity.”

Foreign officials from both the US and the UK have condemned the Chechen government for the most recent reports of murder and detainment from the region.

Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office Minister urged Russian authorities to take action:

“The persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya is utterly appalling.

“Recent reports indicate that two people have died in custody following torture, and a further 40 remain in detention – all simply for their sexual orientation. Persecution for being LGBT, in any country in the world, is abhorrent.”

Duncan continued:

“The Russian authorities must protect their people from these human rights abuses, and conduct a credible investigation into these reports immediately. There should be no climate of impunity for those who commit these abuses.

“We and the international community have repeatedly called for the Russian Government to conduct an investigation and hold those responsible for human rights abuses in Chechnya to account, including through the 2018 OSCE Moscow Mechanism.”

A spokesperson from the US State Department, Robert Palladino also issued a statement condemning the persecution of LGBT+ people at the hands of the Chechen government:

“We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community.”

Palladino continued:

“Civil society groups report that at least 40 individuals have been illegally detained since December, including two who repeatedly died in custody after being tortured.

“We call on Russia to live up to its international obligations and commitments and its own constitution, and launch an immediate investigation into these human rights abuses.”

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