Putin supports plan to investigate reported abuse of gays

Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov said late on May 5 that he is "ready to closely cooperate" with Kremlin officials looking into reports of alleged persecution of gay men in the republic.

Earlier president of Russia Vladimir Putin reported that he is going to discuss with the Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and the Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, "information or rumors" on "what is happening in the North Caucasus with people of nonconventional sexual orientation".

"We have never had them (individuals with nonstandard sexual orientation) among us Chechens unless you deal with someone who isn't really Chechen but ascribes himself to our nationality in order to secure an opportunity to hit the road towards the West", Kadyrov said. Putin's announcement was reported by The Associated Press.

Kadyrov pledged to "eliminate" the gay community in Chechnya by the start of Ramadan.

Chechen President Kadyrov's administration has denied the accusations that it has launched a brutal campaign against gays in the province. Such comments, attitudes and actions are absolutely beyond contemptible'.

"It's a feeling like they are breaking every bone of every joint in your body at the same time", he revealed.

"You can not arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic", said Mr Karimov.

A month after reports about the torture of gay men in Chechnya were first published, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to investigate.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week urged the Russian authorities to help protect gay rights.

Consistent with the Islamic rules implemented in many Muslim-majority countries, coming out as a homosexual is "tantamount to a death sentence" in Chechnya, reported Novaya Gazeta.

Speaking about the recent round of arrests in Chechnya, Mr Duncan told Parliament: 'One of the most disgusting things I have seen is a Chechen security source stating that these arrests are part of what he called a preventative clean-up'.

Following the initial exposure, it has been revealed that Chechnya authorities are forcing gay men into concentration camps, sparking an outcry from LGBT and human rights activists across the world.

  • Larry Hoffman