U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says America will not ignore reports that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya are persecuting suspected gay men.
The statement read:
“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association.
If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored – Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.
We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation. When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilisation and conflict. Tomorrow, the United States will lead the first-ever meeting on human rights in international conflicts in the UN Security Council to underscore our commitment to addressing human rights abuses wherever they threaten international peace and security”.
Russian activists claim the victims are being held at a detention centre near the Chechen town of Argun.
Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region governed by Ramzan Kadyrov, who is reportedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Kadyrov’s government denied the alleged persecution, claiming Chechnya does not have an LGBT population.
“You can’t detain and repress people who simply don’t exist in the republic,” spokesman Alvi Karimov said last week.