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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 19, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 20
No visas for Chechen refugees

Let 'em die, State Department says
Section One
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No visas for Chechen refugees

Let 'em die, State Department says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The US State Department has refused to issue visas to Gay Chechens fleeing persecution in their country, according to Russian LGBT activists.

The Russian-based organization LGBT Network says about 40 Chechens have escaped the wave of kidnapping, tortures, and murders that swept up more than 100 of their Gay countrymen and are now in hiding in other parts of Russia.

They are unable to get the visas that would allow them to leave the country, LGBT Network spokesperson Svetlana Zakharova told BuzzFeed News.

In fact, just two Chechens have managed to secure visas and travel to safe countries since the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the campaign against Gay Chechens in April. A 'handful' have escaped Russia without visas, Zakharova said.

Both the US and the European Union (EU) have expressed diplomatic concern over the anti-Gay persecutions and called for the Russian government to investigate, but they have not offered assistance to Chechen refugees.

A US State Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that he could not comment on the visa denials, because 'visa records are confidential under US law...'

The current ruler of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is regarded as a Putin puppet, and like Putin he is known to pursue critics inside and outside of Russia with the intention of killing them.

Meanwhile three French LGBT groups have filed a complaint against Chechnya with the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Stop Homophobia, Mousse, and Comité IDAHO France accuse Chechnya of carrying out 'a policy of genocide' against Gay people. They blame Kadyrov and other Chechen officials for a 'wave of persecution.'

Spokesperson Etienne Deshoulières called Kadyrov 'the organizer of torture camps with a desire to exterminate homosexuals.' Kadyrov has promised to rid Chechnya of Gay people by the beginning of Ramadan on May 27.

The French groups are urging the court to investigate Chechnya. Alexandre Marcel, who chairs Comité IDAHO France, said filing a complaint with the ICC was 'the only way to pursue Nazi behavior.'

According to Novaya Gazeta, at least 100 Gay men are being held in special concentration camps where they are subject to torture. At least three have died - one under torture, and two killed by their relatives.

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No visas for Chechen refugees

Let 'em die, State Department says

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