Polygamy gets political tick in Chechnya

GROZNY - Russia's idiosyncratic loyalist strongman in Chechnya has said he wants to legalise polygamy and allow men to take up to four wives because there aren't enough males to go around after more than a decade of war.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's acting Prime Minister, said that the number of women in Chechnya was 9 to 18 per cent higher than the number of men, and argued that polygamy was a practical way of replenishing the republic's war-ravaged population.

"I think that it is necessary because we are at war. It is very important for the Chechen people. Shariah law allows this, it does not run counter to it. Therefore, each man who can provide for four wives should do it."

Chechnya, a largely Muslim republic, has been embroiled in a brutal on-off war of secession from Russia since 1994.

Human rights group Memorial estimates that 75,000 Russian and Chechen civilians have died since then, most of them men.


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