Thursday, April 20, 2017

Still nothing but silence from the White House on Chechnya

Donald Trump
On April 2 it was reported that Chechen authorities had rounded up 100 gay men and murdered three. On April 10 gays were imprisoned in concentration camps and were being systematically tortured to reveal the names of other gay men. April 13, journalists were hiding in fear for their lives for having exposed Chechnya's anti-gay pogrom. The official word from Chechnya is that it would be impossible for them to persecute gay people because there are no gay people in Chechnya. Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, is just a thug. He also insults our intelligence.

So far, the best we get from the Trump administration is a tepid statement from U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Included in her statement was this gem:
Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.
Who the hell does Haley think is abducting, torturing and murdering gay people in Chechnya if not Chechen authorities? Now, in addition to Ramzan Kadyrov, Nikki Haley insults our intelligence.

The Chechen Republic has some autonomy but it is part of the Russian Federation. We do not have separate diplomatic relations with Chechnya. This situation deserves attention from the State Department and a response through diplomatic channels. At least an acknowledgment that the United States is disturbed by the apparent civil rights abuses. To the best of my knowledge the media have not asked Sean Spicer about this situation. The press has not been doing its job.

I suspect that a President Clinton would have personally commented on this situation. Trump probably doesn't want to upset business relationships with Russia. Trump's silence is disgraceful.

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