CPJ: investigate threats to paper over Chechen gay torture

Geronimo Vena
Aprile 18, 2017

Chechen officials and clerics are threatening the newspaper that first exposed the campaign of police abuse against men in Chechnya perceived to be gay, Human Rights Watch said today.

Furthermore, Chechen law enforcement agencies completely deny the deployment of a secret prison for illegally detained homosexuals in Argun.

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported earlier this month on the detention sites using testimony from gay people. Some have spoken to people who claim to be victims.

"I hope that the current administration lives up to the promises it has made to advance human rights for everyone by raising this issue directly with Russia's leaders", Biden continued. "People are alleged to have died because of the situation on the ground", he said.

Meanwhile, the extremely negative reaction of the Chechen side to articles about the persecution of homosexuals made the journalists who wrote them anxious.

In the face of growing worldwide concern about reported detentions and killings of gay men in Chechnya, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the Kremlin does not have confirmed information on the targeted violence. The crowd adopted a resolution that threatened retribution against the journalists "wherever they are and without any statute of limitations".

"Nobody can detain or harass anyone who is simply not present in the republic", Alvi Karimov was quoted as telling Interfax.

"However, the leaders have been quite publicly calling for violence", van Roozendaal said. "The threat still exists", she said.

"It's important to keep pressure on the government, that's extremely important", he said.

Freeland's statement followed a similar call on Friday by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the rights division of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"The authorities in Russian Federation must urgently investigate the horrific reports of human rights violations against allegedly gay men in Chechnya, as well as identify, prosecute and punish any known perpetrators".

Link said Moscow had to step in.

As pressure to investigate the reports from the worldwide community mounted, a spokesperson for Russian leader Vladimir Putin said that the Kremlin had received no reliable evidence to backup the claims. "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".

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