Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has responded to reports that gay men are being tortured and abused in Chechnya.
She visited Yahoo News this week to chat with Katie Couric about the U.S airstrikes in Syria and President Trump – but the popular presenter instead decided to change the subject.
With the world slamming claims that gay men are being held in camps, many of whom are said to be being tortured and even killed, Katie asked the Foreign Minister what Russia is doing to stop the abuse – and her response was chilling to say the least.
“This is not my issue. Russia is holding an investigation as normal countries do in these cases. This is not my field. My field is international relationships,” she told Katie.
Katie Couric asked a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman about the torture and killing of gay men in Chechnya.
Her response is telling. pic.twitter.com/WOpZNCeDjJ
— Raymond Braun (@raymondbraun) April 28, 2017
“I just responded. I just told you all the information I have,” she added.
After the interview began to go viral, hundreds shared their responses on Twitter, with many sharing how troubling they thought the Minister’s behaviour was.
One viewer said: “Clearly she was told was she can/cannot talk about, the latter with clear consequences. We know what happens to truth in Russia.”
While another added: “She looked terrified to even respond to the questions in anyway. This may not be limited to just Chechnya.”
Horrifying accounts of brutality and killings have been emerging from the Russian republic over the last three weeks, after Novaya Gazeta reported that over 100 gay and bisexual men aged 16-50 had been detained by authorities over the last few months.
It was reported last week that Chechnya’s president Ramzan Kadyrov has vowed to “eliminate” the region’s gay population by the end of next month.
The UK’s Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Sir Alan Duncan, revealed last week that the British government had been made aware of the horrifying threat while taking questions in parliament this week.
“Human rights groups report that these anti-gay campaigns and killings are orchestrated by the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov,” Duncan said.
“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.”