Putin Backs Inquiry Into "Rumored" Hate Crimes In Chechnya
After several requests by international organizations and leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed an inquiry into the reported mistreatment of gay men in the republic of Chechnya, in the North Caucasus. He said he would personally ask the prosecutor general and the interior minister to check the reports.
The president referred to the reports as "rumors, you could say, about what is happening in our North Caucasus with people of non-traditional orientation."
Chechen officials have denied gay people even exist in the republic as well as the claims that gay men are being tortured and held captive. On Friday, Mr Putin stated he would personally reach out to the prosecutor general, interior minister, and Kremlin rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova to check on the reported abuse.
Chechnya's strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, said on Friday he was ready to co-operate with the federal authorities on the issue.