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Chechnya Says Couples Must Be HIV-Negative To Marry

"And did you bring the certificate?"

"And did you bring the certificate?"

The spiritual leaders of Muslim Chechnya have ordered that all couples who plan to marry prove they are HIV-negative.

The Chechen mufti's press service said in a statement this week that "any potential bride or groom is obliged to receive a medical certificate."

The mufti's orders have no legal weight but are generally followed because he is a respected spiritual leader and because of his ties to Chechnya's pro-Moscow leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.

The order comes after the mufti and other spiritual heads demanded last year a total shutdown of all eateries during the holy month of Ramadan and ordered bands of armed men to harass women who did not wear head scarves.

compiled from Reuters reports