“We don’t have these kinds of people here.”
Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has hit out at those who say the country is detaining and killing gay men by calling them “devils”, stating the accusations can’t be true because there are no gay men in Chechnya.
In an interview with David Scott from Real Sports, Kadyrov said the reports were false because in Chechnya, “we don’t have these kinds of people here.”
He continued: “To purify our blood, if there are any here take them. If there are any take them to Canada.”
The Chechen president threatened: “Even if our government were completely destroyed, our nuclear missiles would be automatically deployed. We will put the whole world on its knees and screw it from behind.”
It comes nearly 100 days since the first reports of gay men being detained and abused in Chechnya emerged, and days after the Russian LGBT Network revealed that a new wave of arrests in the region has begun.
Earlier this year, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazetta reported that up to 26 men have been killed so far this year as part of the anti-gay purge in Chechnya.
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) July 14, 2017
There have also been chilling reports of young gay men being murdered by their own family members, as authorities tell parents to kill them – or they’ll do it themselves.
A 17-year-old male was even murdered by his own uncle, after being pushed from his 9th floor balcony.
The Kremlin and Chechen government have both repeatedly denied allegations that gay men are being detained and tortured in the region.
That’s despite Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, having publicly declared that he wanted all LGBT+ people in the country to be eliminated by May 26, which marked the start of Muslim holiday, Ramadan.
Last week, the names of 27 people executed in the country without trial were released – despite Russia having a ban on the use of the death penalty.
Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit organisation, has raised over $250,000 so far to help victims escape Chechnya’s ongoing detention and abuse of gay men.