CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

As pressure to investigate the reports from the global community mounted, a spokesperson for Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that the Kremlin had received no reliable evidence to backup the claims. Chechen authorities have denied these reports.

The situation has become so grave that the U.S. State Department and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights have urged the Russian government to intervene.

"We call on Russian Federation to take urgent measures to protect the life, liberty and security of gay and bisexual people in Chechnya and to investigate, prosecute and punish acts of violence motivated by the victim's sexual orientation", the United Nations human rights experts concluded.

BBC journalist Victoria Derbyshire told NCRM that the journalist who broke the story, Novaya Gazeta's Elena Milashina, who is now in hiding, told her Wednesday: "We know about four secret prisons".

The allegations that up to 100 men are being detained prompted a protest outside the Russian embassy in London on Wednesday. Kadyrov says of gay men that, "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".

Two men who were detained, but eventually released and left Chechnya, told Britain's Guardian newspaper that men, some of them wearing uniforms, had seized them and taken them to a detention centre where they were beaten daily and subjected to electric shocks. He rules the republic of Chechnya with brute force and enjoys the indulgence of President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov did promise that police would investigate Novaya Gazeta's claim but he did not promise much immediate help, or condemn anything.

"In Chechnya, the command was given for a 'prophylactic sweep, ' and it went as far as real murders", Novaya Gazeta reported.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson and Randy Boissonnault, who advises Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on LGBT and intersex issues, are among the world leaders who have also condemned Chechen authorities.

On April 1, a leading opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, confirmed those reports, citing Russian federal law enforcement officials, who blamed local authorities.

The Russian office of Amnesty International on April 14 backed the newspaper's concerns, saying it considers the resolution by Chechen clergymen and elders to be "a threat of violence against journalists".

A meeting of elders and Islamic leaders in Chechnya after the story appeared called for retribution, which Novaya Gazeta said "pushes religious fanatics toward the massacre of journalists".

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