2017-05-16 18:52:00

Ombudsman submits Novaya Gazeta's info on persecution of gays in Chechnya to Investigative Committee

Moscow, May 16, Interfax - Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova has submitted information provided by the Novaya Gazeta newspaper containing personal details of the LGBT community members reportedly harrassed in the Chechen Republic to the Russian Investigative Committee.

"I have received another request from Novaya Gazeta containing specific names and surnames and forwarded it to Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin for consideration," Moskalkova told reporters on Tuesday.

Moskalkova said the one-month period to consider her request has not yet expired. "It is vitally important to address this issue in terms of protection of the people who dared to say that they are ready to seek justice," she said.

"I'm willing to receive anyone seeking protection and an official inquiry and help to institute state protection and confidentiality measures for those people," Moskalkova said.

Novaya Gazeta's information concerns people whose whereabouts are unknown and they are presumed murdered, she said.

The matter is not about sexual orientation of those people, but that "no one in any conditions can be subject to violence, humiliation, and, all the more so, death," she said.

"It would be valid if the central federal body also received reports," she said.

Moskalkova said earlier during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that she was looking into the issue of gays who had reported violation of their rights to her.

The president promised Moskalkova that he would talk with the prosecutor general and the interior minister about the situation surrounding "people of non-traditional sexual orientation" in the North Caucasus.

Meeting with Putin on April 19, head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov denied reports on detentions and murders of civilians in the republic. He said later the Chechen leadership and law enforcement authorities were ready to cooperate with the federal authorities in verifying the reports on the situation involving sexual minorities in the republic. "This phenomenon is uncharacteristic of the Chechen people," Kadyrov said.