Gay Chechen man with HIV seeks asylum in US

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Washington Blade on April 23, 2019, interviewed a gay man from Chechnya who is seeking asylum in the U.S. The man asked the Blade not to publish his name or disclose his identity. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A gay man from Chechnya with HIV who asked the Washington Blade not to reveal his identity was leaving a gay bar in Moscow on May 13, 2018, when a group of six men approached him and attacked him. A video from a nearby surveillance camera that he saved to his cell phone shows one of the men punching him in the face.

“He hit me right in the eye,” the man told the Blade on April 23 during an emotional interview in Dupont Circle. “People were standing right here.”

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Members of Congress urge Pompeo to condemn Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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More than 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 29 urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly condemn the anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and the other lawmakers in their letter also urged Pompeo to pressure the Russian government to end the crackdown.

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State Department ‘deeply disturbed’ by latest Chechnya anti-LGBTI crackdown

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The State Department on Jan. 17 said it is “deeply disturbed” by reports that indicate at least two people have been killed and upwards of 40 others have been detained in the latest anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya.

“We are deeply disturbed by credible reports out of Chechnya about renewed attacks against individuals perceived to be members of the LGBTI community,” said Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement.

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Anti-LGBTI crackdown in Chechnya continues

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Washington Blade has confirmed a report that indicates several men and women were recently detained in Chechnya because of their sexual orientation.

Igor Kochetkov, a prominent Russian LGBTI rights activist, on Jan. 11 told the Associated Press the detentions began late last month.

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HRC joins protest against Trump, Putin before Finland summit

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Human Rights Campaign on Sunday urged President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin to publicly condemn the ongoing anti-gay crackdown in Chechnya during their summit in Finland.

The organization specifically projected onto the side of the Presidential Palace in the Finnish capital of Helsinki where the meeting took place on Monday slogans that read, among other things, “Trump and Putin: Stop the crimes against humanity in Chechnya” and “The whole world is watching.” The projections also urged Putin to “investigate LGBTQ persecution” in Chechnya and to “bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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Situation for LGBT Chechens remains perilous

By : Helen Parshall of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Advocates say that the situation in Chechnya remains dire roughly six months after initial reports of arrests, torture and killings of LGBT Chechens emerged.

“It should not be like this. We are all people. We all have rights,” Maxim Laponov said in a press conference on Monday outside the Moscow offices of Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper that broke the story of the crackdown. “If those rights can be violated [in Chechnya], it could happen in any region. And no one knows whose son or daughter will be next.”

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Russian court stops deportation of gay journalist

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Russian court on Tuesday has stopped the deportation of a gay journalist who claims he would be tortured in his native Uzbekistan.

Police last week detained Khudoberdi Nurmatov, a reporter for the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta who writes under the pen name Ali Feruz, in Moscow.

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Openly gay journalist for Russian paper faces deportation to Uzbekistan

By : Wire Report
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MOSCOW (AP) – A Russian court has ordered a Novaya Gazeta reporter to be deported to his native Uzbekistan where he might face torture, the prominent Russian newspaper said Aug. 2.

It said Khudoberdy Nurmatov, who was born in Russia but grew up in Uzbekistan, is now in jail pending an appeal.

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Russian group claims to have evacuated 64 people from Chechnya

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A Russian LGBT advocacy group says it has evacuated 64 people from Chechnya over the last four months.

A 31-page report the Russian LGBT Network released on Monday notes those it has helped leave the semi-autonomous Russian republic in the North Caucuses “were relocated” to shelters in central Russia. The Russian LGBT Network, which is based in St. Petersburg, also said more than 130 people from Chechnya and neighboring republics have “requested assistance of a different nature because of the persecution from the local authorities and hostile relatives.”

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State Dept. dodges question about Tillerson’s silence on Chechnya

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday did not say why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has yet to publicly condemn the ongoing crackdown against gay men in Chechnya.

Nauert noted to the Washington Blade during a press briefing the State Department has urged the Russian government to conduct an investigation into the crackdown.

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State Department: Chechnya extrajudicial killings are ‘troubling’

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A State Department spokesperson on Tuesday expressed concern over reports that authorities in Chechnya killed more than two dozen people who were arrested without charge earlier this year.

Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian newspaper, on Sunday published the names of 27 men who it said authorities shot to death in the Chechen capital of Grozny on Jan. 26.

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House committee unanimously approves Chechnya resolution

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday approved a resolution that condemns the crackdown against gay Chechens.

The resolution — which has 52 co-sponsors — passed in a unanimous voice vote.

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