Speed Reads

human rights violations

Nikki Haley says the U.S. is 'disturbed' by reports of anti-gay violence in Chechnya

Reports out of Chechnya that gay men are being rounded up by authorities and abused, with at least three killed while in custody, "cannot be ignored," U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday.

Several organizations, as well as the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, said earlier this month that police in the Russian republic are running a secret prison where men believed to be gay are being kept and tortured. "We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association," Haley said in a statement. "If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored — Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses."

Haley said the U.S. is "against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation. When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict." Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has called the reports of human rights violations "a massive information attack" and said attempts are "being made to blacken our society, lifestyle, traditions, and customs."