Chechen authorities tell parents: 'Kill your gay sons or we will', survivor claims

Leader Ramzan Kadyrov denies homosexuals are being persecuted saying: 'You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Thursday 04 May 2017 20:59
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Mr Kadyrov plans to 'eliminate' the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan, a British foreign minister claimed in April
Mr Kadyrov plans to 'eliminate' the country’s gay community by the start of Ramadan, a British foreign minister claimed in April

Chechen police are reportedly urging parents to kill their gay children, according to survivor testimony from one man held in a “gay torture camp” in the region.

Authorities have been telling parents of gay men to “sort it out” or the state will intervene, the victim, who has not been identified, claimed.

The latest account of systematic LGBT persecution comes just a month after Chechen authorities allegedly rounded up more than 100 men who were suspected to be gay. Many were tortured and at least four are alleged to have been killed, according to a Russian newspaper and human rights campaigners.

“We’ve always been persecuted, but never like this,” the victim told France24.

“Now they arrest everyone. They kill people, they do whatever they want.”

He continued: “They tell the parents to kill their child. They say ‘Either you do it, or we will. They call it: ‘Cleaning your honour with blood.’

“They tortured a man for two weeks then they summoned his parents and brothers who all came.

“Police said to them: ‘Your son is a homosexual – sort it out or we’ll do it ourselves.’”

Russian authorities detained LGBT activists attempting to raise awareness about the persecution of gay men in the conservative and predominantly Muslim region on Tuesday.

The demonstration was held during a May Day march in St Petersburg, with a group of around 10 protesters arrested near the Anichkov Bridge in the centre of Russia’s second city.

A spokesman for Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, said reports that more than 100 men were detained in April was “absolute lies and disinformation” and claimed gay people did not exist in the region.

“You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic,” he told Interfax news agency.

“If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has backed the Chechen government’s denials that men suspected of being gay are being detained, tortured and killed.

But that did not stop Germany's Angela Merkel raising the matter while speaking alongside Mr Putin at a joint press conference in Sochi.

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