Two gays have moved from Chechnya to Lithuania after being persecuted for their sexual orientation.
This was announced by Linas Linkevičius, head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, as reported by the BNS news outlet.
He did not provide details, noting only that Lithuania is one of the first EU states to receive gays who have been subject to persecution in Chechnya. He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is “coordinating actions with allies in the west”.
“We are gradually raising these issues in within the EU, and in the parliamentary structures of the Council of Europe – regarding the possibilities of aiding and, if necessary, offering asylum. We coordinated our actions with our allies, because other countries are also involved,” the minister said.
Previously, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to “intervene in the situation” with homosexuals in Chechnya. The problem of homosexuals being persecuted in the republic has also been condemned at a session of the British parliament.
In the beginning of April, Novaya Gazeta published two items regarding the persecution of gays in Chechnya. The first investigation reported two killings and hundreds of injuries, the second provided eyewitness accounts. The publication reported that there are secret prisons for gays in Argun, and that gays in the republic are subject to torture and blackmail. The Chechen authorities deny all the accusations. Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, said that there are no gays in Chechnya.