Russian LGBT Network helps 40 gays escape Chechnya
Nine of them have left Russia.
Igor Kochetkov, the chairman of Russian LGBT Network, said that the organization took 40 gay men from Chechnya after they suffered persecution for their sexuality. The human rights activist added that 9 of them had already left the Russian Federation. Over 80 people have turned to the LGBT Network for help lately, Kochetkov told Nastoyashcheye Vremya media outlet.
However, according to the LGBT Network official, the evacuation has been hindered by various bureaucratic delays. Many countries refuse to receive refugees who leave Russia for an unknown reason. Western countries do not have specific procedures to help those persecuted on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Human rights ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova has submitted reports on gays who disappeared in Chechnya to the Investigative Committee. The LGBT Network chairman linked the persecution with the recently adopted law banning gay propaganda. According to Kochetkov, the government made it clear that gays are inferior beings in its eyes.
On May 17, Lithuania granted visas to two Chechen fugitives, said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. He stressed that Lithuania was the first to receive people who were oppressed in Chechnya. They are now considering whether asylum should be granted to them.
On April 1, Novaya Gazeta reported persecution of people with unconventional sexual orientation in Chechnya. According to the publication, over 100 men suspected of homosexuality were detained in the Republic. They were humiliated and tortured and three of them were killed. Russian President instructed the Prosecutor General and the Minister of Internal Affairs to probe into the situation. Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov said that homosexuals could not possibly be hounded in the Republic since there were no gay Chechens whatsoever.
According to the widow of the former State Duma deputy killed in Kiev on March 23, the kidnappers kept the personal driver of the family couple in the Bryansk region for 12 hours, after which he was released.
A scandal is escalating in Surgut between Sergei Ivanov, Commander of Company № 1 of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate, and his superiors. Ivanov claims that the true reason behind the criminal case instituted against him under Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Exceeding Official Powers) is the arrest of drunk son of the former Head of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate of Surgut.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs officially confirmed the information about the detention of the bully, who opened fire at the girl driving a Porsche car on the 35th kilometer of the Kievskoe highway.