Rubio condemns anti-gay violence in Chechnya after pushing anti-LGBT order
Marco Rubio, who recently urged President Trump to sign an anti-LGBT religious freedom order, has condemned violence against gay and bisexual men in Chechnya.
Respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta originally reported that gay men were being held in two concentration camp-style prisons in the region.
Reports initially centred on two jails in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt.
However, journalists from the area today said they have uncovered evidence of a further four prisons, meaning there are at least six prisons in the region holding people because of their sexual orientation.
Marco Rubio, President Trump’s former competitor for the Republican Presidential nomination, has now spoken out against the violence.
“We should use our voice on the global stage to call attention to these horrifying acts and to ensure that they are condemned in an appropriate way, ultimately in the hopes that they will be stopped,” Rubio said Monday.
This comes despite him being among a group of Republican Senators who earlier in April publicly urged him to sign an anti-LGBT religious freedom order.
A draft executive order leaked from inside the White House earlier this year that would actively permit religious discrimination against LGBT people.
The leaked order would protect people who discriminate based on “the belief that marriage is or should be recognised as the union of one man and one woman [or that] male and female refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy at birth”.
Editors of the Russian newspaper have said they fear that the “entire staff” on the paper are at serious risk after they uncovered the gay purge in Chechnya.
The paper’s staff have said that hundreds of gay men had been detained and some killed in the region of Russia.
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) April 25, 2017
In a statement released by the editors of the paper, they detailed a meeting of over 15,000 people headed by Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s leader, reportedly accused the newspaper of libel and declared it and the staff “enemies of our faith and of our country”.
It comes after Britain’s deputy foreign secretary revealed a terrifying threat from President Kadyrov while taking an urgent question on the situation in parliament.
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Sir Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, told parliament: “Human rights groups report that these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov.
“He has carried out other violent campaigns in the past, and this time he is directing his efforts at the LGBT community.
“Sources have said that he wants the [LGBT] community eliminated by the start of Ramadan.”
The minister added: “Such comments, attitudes and actions are absolutely beyond contemptible.”