01:26 GMT03 June 2020
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    The United States is in high level discussions with Russia about the treatment of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons in Chechnya, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — When asked about the most recent comments by Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov in an interview with HBO, Nauert noted, "Those comments on part of the Chechen President were very concerning and also upsetting to us."

    "The United States and we here, at the State Department, have spoken a lot about concerns about the treatment of LGBTI people in Chechnya," Nauert said. "We have called on Russia to hold a federal investigation into that matter, and we have those conversations at the highest level."

    Kadyrov stated that Chechnya has no gay people, adding "If there are any, take them to Canada."

    In April, Russia's Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported, citing activists of the LGBT community as well as sources in the Chechen Interior Ministry, that over 100 men suspected of being homosexual were detained in the region and at least three were killed.

    On May 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova that he planned to ask Russia's Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry to assist her in inspecting the alleged persecution of homosexual men in the Chechen Republic.

    Moskalkova told Putin she had submitted relevant requests to the Prosecutor General's Office and investigative bodies.

    Kadyrov said on the same day that the republic's leadership and law enforcement agencies were ready to cooperate with federal bodies to examine the reports on alleged LGBT persecution.


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    LGBT, Chechen Republic, Russia
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