19 May 2018, 15:01
Rights defenders treat Justice Minister's statement on gays in Chechnya as absurd
Rights defenders treat as meaningless the statement of Alexander Konovalov, Russian Minister of Justice, who said there were no gay men in Chechnya who could be persecuted. The rights defenders have also noted that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is not authorized to carry out investigations.
In April 2017, the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported on mass detentions and killings in Chechnya of men suspected of non-traditional sexual orientation.
Igor Kalyapin, the head of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, is perplexed by the Alexander Konovalov's statement.
Tatiana Lokshina, the Russia programme director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), also criticized the statement voiced by Alexander Konovalov.
Alexander Konovalov is incompetent in the issue concerning the persecution of gays in Chechnya, noted Oleg Orlov, a member of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial".
The Chechen authorities called a provocation the materials released by the "Novaya Gazeta". Meanwhile, residents of Chechnya, interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", confirmed the information and noted that they were aware of the use of physical force against gays long before the newspaper's publication.
Agents of Maxim Lapunov, one of the gays who left Russia, are preparing a complaint against the investigation to be filed to the Strasbourg Court, Igor Kalyapin noted.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Magomed Tuayev; Source: CK correspondent