The speaker of the parliament in Chechnya is behind the abuse, detainment and murder of gay men says new report
A report from the Human Rights Watch (HRW) has identified the speaker of the parliament in Chechnya as the person behind the the alleged detention, torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya which was reported in April.
Magomed Daudov, the speaker of the Chechen parliament, gave the orders to Chechen authorities to carry out the violent acts against gay men in Chechnya, eye-witness reports revealed.
Those interviewed by HRW after their release from detention camps in the Chechen town of Argun disclosed they had overheard their captors referring to Daudov and to orders which he reportedly handed down to authorities which sanctioned the violence against gay men.
Three men who had been detained claim to have seen Daudov in the prisons where the detention and torture was taking place.
Daudov, sometimes referred to as ‘Lord’, is second to Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s leader, making him one of the most powerful officials in Chechnya and as such, easy to recognise.
While the official stance of Kadyrov is that there is no gay purge happening in Chechnya because gay people do not exist in the country, he has given conflicting information to Russian-language media.
The Chechen leader is reported to have declared that gay people would be eliminated by May 26, the day which marked the start of Muslim holiday, Ramadan.
‘Magomed’, a former detainee at one of the Chechen camps told the HRW that “They have long arms and they can find me and others anywhere in Russia, just give them time.”
The Human Rights Watch Program Director for Russia, Tanya Lokshina outlined the state-sanctioned purge which has been going on since the end of February 2017.
“Since the end of February,” Lokshina said, “Chechen law enforcement and security officials under the control of Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen republic who’s been running Chechnya for about a decade now like his own private fiefdom with the blessing of the Kremlin has been rounding up gay men as part of an apparent anti-gay purge. A purge which was sanctioned by Chechen leadership.”
Following widespread international calls, Russia investigated the reports of this abuse of gay men in Chechnya, drawing the conclusion that there were no victims of persecution.
The Russia Program Director is urging Russia’s main interlocutors to continue to put pressure on the Kremlin to end the gay purge and is calling on Western countries to offer victims sanctuary.
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