Biden ‘appalled’ by anti-gay abuses in Chechnya

Biden ‘appalled’ by anti-gay abuses in Chechnya
© Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenObama tweets birthday message to Biden: 'The best vice president anybody could have' The Hill's 12:30 Report Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny MORE says he is repulsed by reports that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya are persecuting suspected gay men.

“I am disgusted and appalled by reports from both the Russian media and non-governmental organizations that authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up, tortured and even murdered individuals who are believed to be gay,” he said in a statement Friday.

“When faced with such crimes of hate and inhumanity, it is the responsibility of every person of conscience to speak out – to oppose this campaign of violence before it continues further.”

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Biden added that President Trump’s administration should confront Russia about reported human rights abuses in Chechnya.

“I hope that the current administration lives up to the promises it has made to advance human rights for everyone by raising this issue directly with Russia’s leaders,” he said.

“Every man or woman on Earth is entitled to be treated with dignity – to live without fear and to love freely. The United States must lead the way to demand an end to these egregious violations of human rights.”

Reports emerged earlier this month that police in Chechnya have detained more than 100 people suspected of being gay. 

Russian activists claim the victims — gay or suspected of being gay — are being held at a detention center near the Chechen town of Argun.

A spokeswoman for the Russian LGBT Network said Tuesday that “torture is going on with electric shocks, beatings with cables.”

“All the people arrested are homosexual men or perceived of being as gay,” Natalia Poplevskaya said, claiming three people had died.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region governed by Ramzan Kadyrov, who is reportedly close with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kadyrov’s government denies the alleged persecution, adding Chechnya does not have a known LGBT population.

“You can’t detain and repress people who simply don’t exist in the republic,” spokesman Alvi Karimov said Tuesday.