Two gay men from Chechnya granted asylum in Lithuania
Lithuania has granted asylum to two gay men fleeing persecution in Chechnya.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevičius said that the two gay men came to Lithuania in order to escape harassment in Russia where around 40 men are believed to have escaped to. Those men are now in hiding and are reportedly being hunted down by family members and authorities.
Linkevičius said that his government “issued visas to two people from Chechnya who were persecuted because of their sexual orientation”.
“We have consistently raised these issues both within the EU and in the parliamentary structures of the Council of Europe – regarding the possibility of helping and, if necessary, granting asylum,” said Linkevičius.
Despite the testimony of a number of men who have managed to flee Chechnya, the country’s president Ramzan Kadyrov (right) has denied that the abduction, torture and murder of gay men is taking place. Kadyrov has agreed to cooperate with a Russian investigation while claiming that there are no LGBT people in Russia.