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April 06, 2017 17:04

Jagland asks Russian ombudsman to look into reports about gay repression in Chechnya, to share results

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) - Secretary-General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjorn Jagland has expressed concern over media reports about sexual minorities being repressed in Russia's Chechen Republic and has called on Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova to look into the reports.

In a letter to Moskalkova, Jagland said he had been "informed of worrying allegations by some media and NGOs about serious human rights violations against LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] persons in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation".

"I am sure that your Office is also aware of these allegations. Given the seriousness of these claims, I am, naturally, certain that you will look into them with due attention," Jagland said in the letter that the CoE press service shared with Interfax on Thursday.

"I would appreciate if you could share with me the results of your investigations at your earliest convenience," Jagland said.

The global human rights organization Amnesty International urged on April 5 that an investigation be launched following reports saying about a crackdown on LGBT communities in Chechnya. Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper earlier published a report that about 100 people suspected of homosexuality had been detained in the republic and that at least three of those had been killed.

Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechen republic head Ramzan Kadyrov, denied the allegations, saying that "nobody can detain or harass anyone who is simply not present in the republic".

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin does not have any reliable information about the alleged crackdown on gay men in Chechnya.

The Chechen presidential Council on Human Rights said that they had analyzed the reports about the crackdown on the LGBT community in the republic and had not found even "indirect evidence proving those".

St ng va

(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

/Interfax/
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