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‘We Don’t Have Any Gays,’ Chechen President Claims

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Kremlin-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that the southern Russian province doesn’t have any gays when responding to allegations that Chechnya has tortured or killed homosexuals.

Kadyrov has allegedly wanted to cleanse the entire region of homosexuals “to purify the [nation’s] blood,” according to the Moscow Times, but denied any allegations from the media about persecuting gays.

“This is nonsense. We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays,” Kadyrov told HBO Real Sports in a June interview, excerpts of which were released Friday, according to Time.  “[If] there are any take them to Canada, praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.”

The interview with HBO came after the Russian investigative newspaper “Novaya Gazeta” alleged that there were secret prisons in Chechnya torturing gay men, and published a list of 27 names of gay detainees that they thought had been murdered by Kadyrov’s forces.

“They are devils, they’re for sale, they’re not people. Let them be cursed for what they say about us,” Kadyrov said, referring to the media that he claims is slandering his name.

Kadyrov, a member of the rebel forces who fought in the separatist battle between Russia and the largely Muslim region of Chechnya, soon after defected and joined forces with Moscow. He has been the dominant figure in the region since Akhmad Kadyrov was assassinated in 2004.

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