Post submitted by Brian McBride, former HRC Digital Strategist 

As President Trump and his administration fail to make any significant headway against the brutal crimes happening to gay and bisexual men in Chechnya, France’s newly elected president directly raised it with Putin and took decisive action in protecting the survivors of these heinous acts.

France welcomed a Chechen refugee over the weekend while President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to FranceInfo. Macron also called on Putin to investigate the LGBTQ persecutions taking place in Chechnya.

“We spoke about the cases of LGBT people in Chechnya,” Macron said to reporters during a joint press conference with Putin. “I told President Putin what France is expecting regarding this issue, and we agreed to regularly check on this subject.”

This latest development comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Putin on the atrocities taking place in the Russian republic.

France isn’t the only country within the European Union to provide refuge for those seeking persecution. Earlier this month, Lithuania became the first country to grant refuge to gay and bisexual men escaping Chechnya -- providing two visas to survivors, according to the country’s news outlet BNS Lithuania.

Last month, Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, broke the news of detentions and beatings of gay and bisexual by Chechnya authorities. According to various reports, roughly 100 gay and bisexual men had been beaten and tortured in detention-style camps where at least three men were reportedly killed in the anti-LGBTQ raids.

HRC has called on the U.S. government to condemn these heinous crimes and grant victims refuge in the United States. Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers passed a bipartisan resolution, House Resolution 351, condemning the violence and persecution of LGBTQ people in Chechnya. However, President Trump has yet to actually weigh into the issue.

So far, the Russian government has refused to intervene, telling the victims to file an official complaint with the courts, which is unlikely to be met with any success.

HRC along with other global leaders will continue our efforts in stopping these atrocities and helping the victims seeking refuge. To learn more, visit HRC’s #EyesOnChechnya website.

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