No 'reliable information' on Chechen gay killings
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 14, 2017,
Apr 14, 2017, 23:23
In response to a growing worldwide outcry about the reported LGBTQ torture campaign, Chechen leaders mocked concerns by claiming there are no gay people in the region and even encouraging citizens to "hunt down" anyone they believe to be LGBTQ.
A St. Petersburg advocacy group, Russian LGBT Network, set up an emergency hotline to take calls from Chechnya - and now says it has received about 50 calls from people who were targeted or are trying to escape the region.
But a spokesman for Putin Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday: "We do not have any reliable information about any problems in this area".
On Friday, the former Vice President responded to growing concerns among worldwide governments and human rights groups who have been pressuring the U.S.to take action and address the Chechen crisis with Russian Federation. Many believe that these numbers are understated.
On Thursday, Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper that first reported the Chechen atrocities, was also hit with a DDoS attack.
The assembly reportedly threatened a push back against anyone who "insulted the centuries-old foundations of Chechen society and the dignity of Chechen men". "The United States must lead the way to demand an end to these egregious violations of human rights".
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also condemned the purge.
"All the people arrested are homosexual men or perceived of being as gay", Natalia Poplevskaya said, claiming three people had died.
"The statement by the regional Government, implying that such treatment towards LGBT people is acceptable, is particularly abhorrent". The United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights called upon the Russian government in a statement "to put an end to the persecution of people perceived to be gay or bisexual, while Chechen authorities denied the reports, and spokesman for leader Ramzan Kadyrov insisted there were no gay people in Chechnya".
"We call on the Russian authorities to do everything possible to prevent actions aimed at inciting hatred and enmity against journalists performing their professional duties".
Mr Johnson's comments come after Liberal Democrat leader questioned his continued silence on the issue.
"The UK government must strongly condemn this disgusting violence, and use every possibly opportunity to raise this with the Russian government, as well as in the United Nations and other global bodies".
Trump told reporters this week that relations between the United States and Russian Federation are at an "all-time low".