Foreign Minister denounces LGBT+ persecution in Chechnya

Chrystia Freeland's office released a statement this evening formally condemning reported human rights violations against gay men in Chechnya.

In addition, the Foreign Minister has called upon the Russian federal government to "thoroughly investigate [the] reports and to immediately ensure the safety of all persons in Chechnya who may be at risk due to their sexual orientation."

Russian media have reported that authorities in the autonomous republic in Russia's southern caucasus region have been rounding up as many as several hundred gay men and imprisoning them.  Prisoners have described beatings, electric shocks and other atrocities to western media, and several prisoners have reportedly perished in captivity.

When asked about rumours of the anti-gay purge, the Chechen government has repeatedly responded to both Russian and western press that there are no gay men in Chechnya.