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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 30, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 39
'There are no Gays in Chechnya,' official news agency says
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'There are no Gays in Chechnya,' official news agency says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Echoing Iran's president Mahmud Ahmedinejad, Chechnya's official news agency, The Chechen Republic Today, says there are no Gays in Chechnya.

'There is no such 'immoral phenomenon' as homosexuality in Chechnya,' the news agency said in an article originally published June 29, and translated by LGBT Asylum News on September 28.

'The country does not have such completely amoral phenomena as drug addiction, pedophilia, homosexuality, and prostitution, which are all alien to Chechens,' Marat Batalov, a writer for the Chechen news agency, said in an article.

Batalov's article is completely in line with previous speeches by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov.

'For a Chechen, the worst crime is to say: 'I'm friends with a Gay!' I should not even utter a word,' Kadyrov said in 2008.

In 2009, Kadyrov complained that openly Gay nightclubs in Russia aimed at 'weakening the state, the weakening of the will, honor, and courage.'

'Gay clubs open! Every day! If it goes on like this, we will simply have no power, no spirit,' he said in an interview to the Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Chechnya is a mainly Muslim country in the Caucasus Mountains, federated with its much larger neighbor Russia. Chechen rebels fought for independence from Russia in 1994-1996 and again from 1999 to 2009.

Kadyrov is head of a pro-Russian government. His father Akhmad Kadyrov was also president of Chechnya from October 2003 until he was assassinated in May 2004.

Both Kadyrovs were anti-Russian rebels until 1999, when they switched sides to help Russian forces against their former allies. Ramzan commanded his father's Kadyrovtsy militia.

Human rights activists in Chechnya say that the Kadyrovtsy are still active, and are implicated in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Kadyrov's enemies.

According to LGBT Asylum News, LGBT Chechens often choose to emigrate to Moscow, even though people from the Caucasus are not welcome in Russia's capital, rather than try to live in secret in their homeland.

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