UK government joins US in placing sanctions on Chechen leaders linked to 'gay purge'

The UK and US have placed sanctions on three of Chechnya's government officials “gross human rights violations”.

UK sanctions

The UK Government has ordered sanctions on three top government officials in Chechnya for their part in the continued torture of LGBTQ+ people.

Magomed Daudov, spokesperson of the Chechen parliament, Aiub Kataev, head of the ministry of internal affairs, and Apti Alaudinov, deputy minister and major general of the police, will all be subject to travel bans and asset freezes under UK laws.

Also for their involvement in the “gay purge” in Chechnya, the Terek Special Rapid Response Unit, which is a strand of the Russian national guard, will also be subject to sanctions.

On Internation Human Rights Day, the UK Government imposed sanctions on eleven government officials for their abuses of human rights from Russia, Venezuela, The Gambia, and Pakistan.

“Today’s sanctions send a clear message to human rights violators that the UK will hold them to account,” said foreign secretary Dominic Raab.

“The UK and our allies are shining a light on the severe and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by those sanctioned today. Global Britain will stand up for democracy, human rights and the rule of law as a force for good in the world.”

Sanctions were issued to Daudov, Kataev and Alaudinov in conjunction with the United States who had already sanctioned Chechen leader Ramzon Kadyrov in July 2020 for his part in the torture of LGBTQ+ people.

Reports from LGBTQ+ people saying they had been tortured and detained by law enforcement agencies date back to 2017. In January 2019, Russian LGBT+ rights group reported a new wave of ‘gay purges’.

Kadyrov has long maintained that these reports are “made up” stating in 2019:

“Here men marry women and women marry men. It was like this for thousands of years, and that is how it will always be, whatever the West tells us.”

Previously, Human Rights Watch released a new report detailing interviews with four men who were detained and abused as part of Chechnya’s ‘gay purge’, giving the most startling evidence of officials conducting horrific acts to date.

In Ireland, human rights activists have been calling on the Irish Government to take a stand on the human rights violations in Chechnya since 2017.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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