Men fleeing Chechnya's 'gay purge' have been denied United States visas

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

The United States has denied visas to people fleeing Chechnya to avoid concentration camps where gay men have been tortured and in some cases murdered.

Chechnya is a semi-autonomous republic within Russian Federation, and the 40 refugees want to flee the country altogether - but the USA is reportedly refusing to deny them entry.

The Russia LGBT Network said there are still about 40 survivors of Chechen prison camps now in hiding and trying to flee the country.

Just two individuals have been able to secure visas to safe countries since the revelation last month by independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta that dozens of gay Chechens were being abused in Chechnya. Only two have managed to secure visas while a handful have fled Russian Federation without visas. "All the people arrested are homosexual men or perceived as being gay". "As visa records are confidential under USA law, we are unable to discuss individual cases". Those words have not manifested into needed action, perhaps because Vladimir Putin conducted an investigation and concluded that no violations against LGBT people in Chechnya were taking place.

Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, in turn, said that regional authorities were ready to cooperate with federal agencies in order to look into media reports about the situation with sexual minorities in the region. "At least three men apparently have died since this brutal campaign began", the statement says. "The number of sources and the consistency of the stories leaves us with no doubt that these devastating developments have indeed occurred".

Zakharova said "negotiations have been difficult" with countries that could safely harbor Chechens, and Tuesday her group was notified that "the not going to issue visas to people from Chechnya".

Haley said that the troubling reports coming from Chechnya "cannot be ignored, " and yet that is exactly what we are doing by turning them away.

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