Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ramzan Kadyrov says there are no gay men in Chechnya — and if there are any, they should move to Canada; Washington Post, July 15, 2017

Adam Taylor, Washington Post; Ramzan Kadyrov says there are no gay men in Chechnya — and if there are any, they should move to Canada

[Kip Currier: Kudos to brave and principled journalists around the world for raising awareness of untold examples of barbarism and ignorance, giving voice to those who suffer and are often silenced and unrecognized. Humankind is indebted to you for your important work.]

"“This is nonsense,” Kadyrov said when asked about the allegations. “We don't have those kinds of people here. We don't have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”

“Praise be to god,” the Chechen leader adds. “Take them far from us so we don't have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.”

Kadyrov's comments came during an interview with HBO reporter David Scott for the show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” The interview is just one part of a broader package that will air at 10 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday about how Kadyrov is using mixed martial arts (MMA) to spread a political message overseas...

In his interview with Scott, Kadyrov initially laughs dismissively at questions about the allegations. “Why did he come here?” he says to someone off camera. “What's the point of these questions?” But as Scott presses him, Kadyrov talks angrily about the reporters and activists who write about LGBT rights in Chechnya.

“They are devils. They are for sale. They are not people,” he says. “God damn them for what they are accusing us of. They will have to answer to the almighty for this.”

Elena Milashina, one of the two Novaya Gazeta reporters who broke the story, told WorldViews in April that she had gone into hiding after threats against her newspaper's staff from religious leaders in Chechnya. “It reminds us of the situation with Charlie Hebdo,” Milashina said, referring to the satirical French newspaper that was attacked by Islamist militant gunmen in 2015, resulting in the deaths of 12."

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