Haley Applauded for Pressing for Accountability in Chechnya


Reports out of Chechnya that gay men are being rounded up by authorities and abused, with at least three killed while in custody, "cannot be ignored", U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday.

The United States has voiced concern over the reported persecution of gay men in Chechnya and urged officials in the Russian region to investigate, while a senior lawmaker called on President Vladimir Putin to make clear that violence based on sexual orientation is unacceptable.

"We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation", Haley said in the statement Monday.

According to Haley's statement, on Tuesday the U.S.is leading a "first-ever meeting on human rights in worldwide conflicts in the UN Security Council".

The statement also said the US delegation will lead the U.N. Security Council's "first-ever meeting on human rights in worldwide conflicts" tomorrow.

GLAAD's call to action for Ambassador Haley to speak out followed reports that more than 100 LGBTQ men are being detained in Russian-controlled Chechnya due to their perceived sexual orientation, with three men allegedly being killed.

"My vehicle got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint and they asked me for my documents", the man known as "Ahmed" told CNN's Matthew Chance in a new interview detailing the torture happening to gay men in Chechnya.

Chechnya leaders not only deny the existence of these camps, but they also deny that there are gay men within Chechnya.

While casual homophobia is common in Russian Federation, the problem is particularly acute in conservative Chechnya, where homosexuality is taboo and seen in many families as a moral failing that should be punished by death.

"The attacks on LGBTQ men and reports of concentration camps in Chechnya were beyond horrific, and Ambassador Haley is taking the right step in speaking out against these blatant violations of human rights", Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement.

Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch said that in her view: "It will only take a call from the Kremlin to Kadyrov for the arrests to stop".

One of the men said, "My vehicle got stopped at a Chechen police checkpoint and they asked me for my documents".

"It is crucial that reports of abductions, unlawful detentions, torture, beatings and killings of men perceived to be gay or bisexual are investigated thoroughly", a group of human rights experts said.

They say they were thrown into prison-like detention centers, given only 4 hours of sleep a night and repeatedly insulted and beaten by guards and other gay men acting under duress.

Chechen regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov speaking at a meeting in Russian Federation in March.

"You can't detain and repress people who simply don't exist in the republic", spokesman Alvi Karimov declared.

"A comprehensive global response to the situation in Chechnya is crucial to asserting the worldwide community's values and advancing human rights", Elisa Massimino, the group's president and CEO, had written in a letter addressed to Haley Monday.

"In Chechnya, I had no choice but to lie or die", says the 20-year-old.