Activists in Chechnya are up in arms over an order that requires all Chechen couples to prove that they are HIV negative before their wedding.
Chechen mufti released a statement that said, "Any potential bride or groom is obliged to receive a medical certificate proving they are HIV-negative. Only an official representative from the republic's clergymen has that right".
Muslim Chechnya is being seen as trying to assert the authority of spiritual leaders through this ruling. This was justified by pointing out that Russia is in the throes of a HIV epidemic with more than a million people thought to be infected.
It was not immediately clear as to when the rule would come into effect.