Chechnya’s ruthless gay purge leader claims he’ll ‘protect human rights’ after re-election

Ramzan Kadyrov

Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen tyrant who orchestrated the region’s brutal gay purges, has vowed to “protect human rights” as he begins his fourth consecutive term.

Kadyrov maintained his tight grip on the autonomous Russian republic as he was inaugurated once again on Tuesday (5 October), nearly two weeks after he won 99.97 percent of the vote in last month’s election.

He has ruled with an iron fist after being appointed in 2007 and has since turned the region into a personal fiefdom, developing a powerful national guard and a cult of personality. The recent election was widely seen as symbolic as, being one of Putin’s strongest allies, he faced no real challenger.

As part of his inauguration oath Kadyrov vowed “to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of man and citizen” and “faithfully serve the multinational people” of the Chechen Republic.

Unfortunately this doesn’t include Chechnya’s LGBT+ community who have been ruthlessly persecuted in a so-called “gay purge” since at least 2017.

Several refugee reports have emerged describing the horrific homophobic violence under Kadyrov’s regime, with innocent people imprisoned, beaten, tortured and killed in notorious gay concentration camps.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Kadyrov has persistently denied the anti-LGBT+ crackdown ever happened.

“This is nonsense,” he previously said when asked about the allegations. “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays. 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.”

Ramzan Kadyrov slapped with sanctions amid ongoing gay purge

Although Kadyrov continues to duck accountability in Chechnya, his family and closest allies have been subject to strict international sanctions.

In 2020 then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo banned Kadryov, his wife and daughter from travelling to the US and permitted the targeting of their personal assets.

The UK went on to order sanctions on three top Chechen officials: Magomed Daudov, spokesperson of the Chechen parliament, Aiub Kataev, head of the ministry of internal affairs, and Apti Alaudinov, deputy minister and major general of the police.

Aiub Kataev was also blacklisted by the EU earlier this year, as was Kadyrov’s deputy prime minister Abuzaid Dzhandarovich Vismuradov.

The Russian Internal Affairs Ministry continues to refute all charges.