Thursday, 13 July 2017
Russia refuses to accept reports of gay men executed in Chechnya
It comes after reports in recent months, that Chechen authorities are operating a concentration camp, primarily for gay men, raising concerns that if true, many of the 27 people named may have been part of the LGBT community.
A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said they had taken note of the reports, however added: "We have similarly taken note of the denials of this information by Chechen law enforcement bodies."
Dmitry Peskov went on to say: "The information is of an anonymos character. It's unclear what the source of this information is".
That's all the Kremlin have to say on the matter, no expression of concern regarding the reports, just a flat out denial questioning the source.
But then again considering Russia's "treatment" of LGBT+ people in its own country, this is hardly surprising.
Here's the list of the 27 men thought to have lost their lives:
Further reports have come from the Russian LGBT Network, who say many of the men killed were gay or bisexual, however some were also heterosexual. The Network also said they believed the story reported by Novaya Gazetta was true.
The Chechen government, have themselves denied the allegations, including those which say they're carrying out a "gay purse" in the region.
Of course, I can't personally verify that this is happening, all we can go on is the word of those who alleged they were held in camps, and the reports of human rights organisations on the ground.
Given the choice I think I would certainly trust human rights groups over the Russian government any day of the week.
Meanwhile European leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have raised the issue during meetings with Vladimir Putin, and the UK government has expressed concerns.
But with the latest reports it appears the Russian government are still determined not to take any action with regards to these reports, no matter how many World leaders bring up the issue.
And with a President of the United States more concerned about his own ego, and the interests of his family, there certainly isn't going to be any pressure applied by the current U.S. administration.
Check out this petition setup by Amnesty International, demanding action.
And you can also check out Amnesty's full report on the situation HERE.