Chechnya’s president has vowed to ‘eliminate’ all gay men by the end of May.
Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic, threatened to rid the area of homosexuality ‘by Ramadan’.
Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, begins on 26 May this year.
Speaking to Gay Star News, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson confirmed these claims.
The horrifying threat was revealed in Parliament when Sir Alan Duncan, Deputy Foreign Secretary and gay Conservative MP, took urgent questions on the Chechnya’s treatment of gay and bi men.
“He [Kadyrov] has carried out other violent campaigns in the past, and this time he is directing his efforts at the LGBT community,” Duncan said in parliament. “Sources have said that he wants the community eliminated by the start of Ramadan.”
Kadyrov reportedly made the chilling threats in local Russian language media.
In the last two weeks, horrifying reports of gay men being held in concentration camps and being beaten, tortured, and killed have emerged. At least 100 have been detained and at least four men have been murdered.
“Credible reports suggesting that at least four people have been killed and many have been tortured are particularly shocking,” Duncan continued. “Statements by the regional government in Chechnya which appear to condone and incite violence against LGBT people are utterly despicable.”
The question was raised by Labour MP Stephen Doughty, who recounted one man’s horrifying account of being tortured with a ‘home-made’ electric chair.
“President Putin already has a record of persecuting the LGBT community and takes a keen eye in Chechnya,” Doughty said. “So is he taking a blind eye or is he complicit in the action of President whose spokesperson, let’s remember this, said ‘you cannot detain people who simply do not exist’?”
Duncan said Chechnya’s ‘arbitrary detention and ill treatment of over 100 men’ on the basis of their sexuality was ‘of deep concern’ to the British government.
“We in the government fully condemn this,” he said. “We do use all engagement with Russia to make our voice clear.”