US State Dept. Shuts Out Gay Men Fleeing Persecution in Chechnya

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US refugees

The Russian LGBT Network – an NGO that has been helping gay men escape state-sponsored persecution in Chechnya – has confirmed reports that the US State Department has denied visas to some 40 individuals currently in hiding and in search of amnesty outside of Russia.

An official statement from the department condemns the ongoing violence:

The United States continues to be concerned about the situation in the Republic of Chechnya, where credible reports indicate at least 100 men have been detained on the basis of their sexual orientation. Credible reports further indicate that some of those men have been tortured and even killed. The United States categorically condemns the persecution of individuals based on their sexual orientation or any other basis.

Such rhetoric, however, rings hallow when department officials turn their backs on those facing torture and even death.

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