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Nikki Haley: Reported Killings of Gay People in Chechnya ‘Cannot Be Ignored’

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United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke out against reported abuse and murder of gay people at the hands of authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya on Monday.

Several organizations have reported that more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality have been rounded up by Chechen authorities, and that at least three have been killed. Haley released a statement from the U.S. Mission to the U.N. that said if the recent allegations of detainment and murder are true, the human rights violation “cannot be ignored.”

“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 wrote in the 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.”

The statement also said the U.S. delegation will lead the U.N. Security Council’s “first-ever meeting on human rights in international conflicts” tomorrow.

“We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation,” Haley said. “When left unchecked, discrimination and human rights abuses can lead to destabilization and conflict.”

Last week, LGBTQ Advocacy group GLAAD had called on Haley to condemn the reported killings in Chechnya.


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com