GROZNY, May 27. /TASS/. Chechen parliament’s Speaker Magomed Daudov has denied the Human Rights Watch’s allegation that he was involved in LGBT people’s persecution in that Russian North Caucasus region.
"Yes, I am categorically against this as I believe this to be a sign of any nation’s decay!" Daudov wrote on his Instagram account. "That is why those corrupt ‘human rights’ zealots are trying to ascribe to me the manhandling of those whom we have never had! I want those ‘truth seekers’ to know that I do not raise my hand against defenseless people, even if I despise them."
The Chechen parliament’s speaker said he was ready for an investigation into the case.
"I am ready for any inquiry as a citizen of Russia," he said. "But I despise you as a Chechen man!"
On May 26, the Human Rights Watch published a report claiming that Chechnya’s Speaker Magomed Daudov was involved in persecution of non-traditional sexual orientation men.
Chechen parliament’s press service has confirmed that the Istagram account was Magomed Daudov’s official page.
History of the issue
On April 1, Novaya Gazeta published an article on its website entitled "Murder of Dignity" which referred to some alleged abductions and possible killings of Chechen residents over their non-traditional sexual orientations or on suspicion of being gay. The paper cited anonymous sources in law enforcement agencies and also victims, without revealing their names.
On April 20, the Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters that probing into the claims about persecutions of individuals with nonstandard sexual orientation in Chechnya had not produced any substantiated evidence. Tatiana Moskalkova, the Russian President’s ombudsperson for human rights, came up with a supposition the allegations regarding the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya might have been a provocation.
The Civil Society and Human Rights Council under Chechnya’s leader said it had scrutinized the article and found no confirmations at all, even indirect ones, that the alleged incidents actually took place. A corresponding statement by the regional council was published on the website of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights on April 4.
On May 5, Moskalkova informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that she had recently been tackling violations of LGBT people’s rights. She asked Putin to commission the creation of a working group outside Chechnya, which would be entrusted with dealing with Chechen residents’ appeals if any were made. Putin promised to discuss this with Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika and Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.
Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov said for his part the regional authorities were ready to cooperate with federal agencies for verifying the mass media reports on the situation with sexual minorities in the region but no one had filed any official petitions on offenses against them. Kadyrov was confident that the West knew perfectly well that these persecution allegations were false "but they are used to saying what is in their interest instead of telling the truth," he added.