A Russia LGBT Network spokesperson explained to BuzzFeed News that there are about 40 Chechens hiding in different areas of Russia, trying to secure visas so they can flee the country.
According to a BuzzFeed News report, a group of around 40 gay men are hiding elsewhere in Russian Federation to escape the country's homophobic persecution, and have had difficulty acquiring visas to leave the country.
Russian Federation has faced increasing pressure from human rights groups and Western governments following an April 1 report by the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta on evidence of the torture and murder of gay men in Chechnya. Since that news broke, BuzzFeed reports that two queer people fleeing abduction, torture, and murder in Chechnya have secured visas in the European Union or the United States.
The State Department has issued ongoing concerns about the situation in Chechnya but would not comment on the visa issue as "records are confidential under USA law". Chechnya continues to deny the atrocities they are committing, arguing that there can not be any attacks on gay men in the nation because there are no gay men in the nation.
Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, in turn, said that regional authorities were ready to cooperate with federal agencies in order to look into media reports about the situation with sexual minorities in the region. "The information published by Novaya Gazeta is consistent with the reports Human Rights Watch recently received from numerous trusted sources, including sources on the ground". And in April, Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations said that if these claims are true, that "this violation of human rights can not be ignored".
The Russia LGBT Network spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that "negotiations have been difficult" with representatives of countries that could provide safe refuge for survivors of the violence.
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