Angela Merkel has urged Vladimir Putin to investigate reports of the torture and persecution of gay men in Chechnya and to ensure the safety of LGBT people across the region. The German chancellor, making her first visit to Russia for two years, in a trip described by her officials as bridge-building mission, said she had raised the issue with the Russian president along with other human rights concerns. A violent crackdown on gay people in Chechnya was first reported in the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has alleged that more than 100 Chechen men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and at least three killed. The Guardian has independently spoken to gay Chechen men who gave accounts of beatings and torture in the ultra-conservative, predominantly Muslim southern Russian republic.
May 2 / The Guardian