Kremlin: No 'reliable information' on Chechen gay killings


In the face of growing international 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 respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported this month that police in the predominantly Muslim republic rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them have been killed.

Chechen authorities have denied the reports. But the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights and prominent international organizations have urged the Russian government to investigate the reported abuse.

But Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday: "We do not have any reliable information about any problems in this area."

Novaya Gazeta said in a statement on Friday that it fears for the safety of its journalists after exposing the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, a Muslim-majority republic of Russia.

Novaya Gazeta referred to a large gathering in Chechnya's main mosque earlier this week which threatened those reporting the story with "reprisals." The paper's editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, called on authorities to investigate the threats.

The Russian office of Amnesty International on Friday echoed the concern about the gathering of Chechen elders and clergymen. It reportedly took place several days after the newspaper article and threatened retaliation against those who "insulted the centuries-old foundations of Chechen society and the dignity of Chechen men."

Amnesty International says it "considers this resolution as a threat of violence against journalists."

In Washington, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement on Friday, condemning the persecution and abuse of gay men in Chechnya.

"The human rights abuses perpetrated by Chechen authorities and the culture of impunity that surrounds them means that these hate crimes are unlikely to ever be properly investigated or that the perpetrators will see justice," Biden said.

The former vice president also called on the current U.S. administration to live up to its promises "to advance human rights for everyone by raising this issue directly with Russia's leaders."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

This coffee riddle has baffled the internet – can you solve it?
This coffee riddle has baffled the internet – can you solve it?

You may want to have a cup of joe – or two – before you try to solve this viral puzzle that is baffling social media users. >> Read more trending news If you've checked Facebook or Twitter over the past few days, you've probably seen the image of four coffee cups under a maze of pipes, followed by the question, "Who gets coffee...
Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape
Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports. “Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous...
'SNL' slams former cast member Al Franken on 'Weekend Update'
'SNL' slams former cast member Al Franken on 'Weekend Update'

"Saturday Night Live" slammed Sen. Al Franken just days after Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden accused the Minnesota Democrat and former "SNL" cast member of groping and kissing her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. Colin Jost and Michael Che took aim at the comedian-turned-senator during the show's "Weekend...
'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dead at 53
'Project Runway' contestant Wendy Pepper dead at 53

Anne Eustis Pepper Stewart, known as Wendy Pepper, has died at the age of 53, Page Six reports. The “Project Runway” first season contestant “died peacefully" Nov. 12 while "surrounded by her loving family," according to her obituary. The news comes just one month after the death of fellow contestant...
Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death
Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death

Here’s what we know about the fatal shooting of a New Kensington, Pennsylvania, police officer: >> Read more trending news
More Stories