Lithuania Grants Asylum to Two Gay Chechens Fleeing Persecution

The minister of foreign affairs of Lithuania announced on May 17 that his country had issued visas to two men fleeing Chechnya due to persecution caused by their sexual orientation.
Lithuania became the first country in the European Union to welcome gay individuals persecuted by the Chechen government, granting asylum to two male homosexual Chechen refugees.

According to Linas Linkevičius, the minister of foreign affairs, Lithuania is taking part in the joint and coordinated international efforts to save the LGBTI* community in Chechnya. No further information was revealed to protect the individuals concerned.

In April, the Russian newspaper Novaja Gazeta reported that over 100 homosexuals had been arrested and taken to detention camps in Chechnya that month. Three have been killed so far.

Mass persecutions

The current head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who also happens to be deeply loyal to the Kremlin, denied these allegations.

On May 18, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Chechen authorities to end their campaign of mass persecution in the country and, furthermore, to allow international organizations to conduct an investigation into the alleged crimes.

Information from bns.lt, 15min.lt and lrytas.lt