Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta released the names of 27 perceived gay and bisexual men reportedly executed without trial in Chechnya. Russia’s Kremlin has reacted to these claims.
Dmitry Peskov, spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressed the published list, saying “We have taken note” of the reports.
Law enforcement and officials have denied that gay men are being killed in Chechnya, with a spokesperson once saying “You can’t detain and harass someone who doesn’t exist in the republic.”
Peskov addressed this, stating “We have similarly taken note of the denials of this information by Chechen law enforcement bodies.”
He closed his remarks by addressing the original source of the published names.
“The information is of an anonymous character. It’s unclear what the source of this information is,” he said. “So this is all I can say for now.”
The reported executions were said to take place on the night of January 25 in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital.
The Gazeta first broke the story of gay and bisexual men being detained and persecuted and has been extensively covering the story since. They released the names of the 27 men to spark a sincere investigation.
“We are publishing these facts because the state represented by authorized law enforcement agencies did not leave us any choice,” the publication wrote. “That is why we publish the list of those who, according to our information, were victims of the worst possible extrajudicial executions in Grozny.“