Chechnya's leader denied claims of a purge of gay men in his country in an interview with HBO due to air Tuesday, saying they simply don't exist there.
"We don't have such people here. We don't have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada," Ramzan Kadyrov said in an excerpt of the interview with HBO's Real Sports released Friday. "To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them."
Kadyrov's comments come amid reports this year of the detainment and torture of gay men in his country. A Russian newspaper reported in the spring that 100 gay men were tortured, and some killed, by Kadyrov's forces, according to the Associated Press.
When asked if he was concerned about the stories of the men saying they were tortured, Kadyrov called them "devils."
"They made it up," he said. "They are for sale. They are subhuman. God damn them for slandering us. They will gave to answer to the Almighty for this."
In the excerpt, an anonymous man claims he was taken and held for three days.
"They brought me back home in a sack, and threw me into the yard, and said, 'Here's your son. He's gay,'" the man said. He also claimed a doctor told him he was near death and had brain damage.
Kadyrov became president of the Chechen Republic in 2007 when Russian President Vladamir Putin signed a decree removing Alu Alkhanov from office.
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