Metro Weekly

Chechnya leader: Purge of gay men is “absolute lies”

Ramzan Kadyrov invites French and German leaders to Chechnya, despite growing evidence of persecution

Ramzan Kadyrov – Photo: The Kremlin.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has rubbished the idea that gay men are being subjected to a purge in Chechnya.

Kadyrov took to his Telegram account to oppose reports that at least 26 gay men have been murdered in the region. He called such reports “false claims” in a post on his Telegram account, the Independent reports.

“”It is not right to accuse the Russian media of slander while your opinion is based on false information,” he said.

Kadyrov aimed his criticism at French President Emmanuel Macron, who this week told Putin to intervene in the Chechnya situation, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Macron may take Merkel with him and come to the Chechen Republic to find out the truth. Our door is open,” Kadyrov said.

A spokesman for Kadyrov called the reports “absolute lies and disinformation,” adding that Chechnya “can’t detain and repress people who simply don’t exist in the republic.”

Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said there is “not a single concrete fact” to support claims that gay men are being persecuted, despite growing evidence to the contrary.

“We don’t see one concrete fact… on the issue of accusations of rights abuses of LGBT representatives in Chechnya or other parts of the Russian federation,” Lavrov said. “There is not a single concrete fact, there are no surnames. If there are facts, if there are surnames, then our answers will be concrete.

“But I repeat that we have no relation to the overwhelming majority of the allegations.”

To catch up on everything that’s been happening in Chechnya, as well as the Trump administration’s response, click here.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.