State Department Denies Visas For Chechen Gay Men Fleeing Wave Of Kidnappings, Torture, And Murders

J. Lester Feder reports at Buzzfeed:

The United States has declined visas to gay Chechens fleeing a wave of kidnappings, torture, and disappearances in the semi-autonomous Russian region, according to the organization Russia LGBT Network.

A group of around 40 Chechens are now in hiding in other parts of Russia, Russia LGBT Network spokesperson Svetlana Zakharova told BuzzFeed News, and are having difficulty securing visas that would allow them to flee the country.

Since the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the abuse of dozens of gay Chechens in April, just two have managed to secure visas to safe countries despite the European Union and the United States expressing concern about the allegations, Zakharova said. A handful of gay Chechens have fled without visas because they believed the danger of staying in Russia was too great.

A US State Department spokesperson said in a statement provided on background that the department could not comment on the visa denials because, “As visa records are confidential under U.S. law, we are unable to discuss individual cases.”

Left with no way to get out, the gay men seeking visas continue to fear for their lives in Russia. The strongman who rules Chechnya with near impunity, Ramzan Kadyrov, is accused of having his critics hunted down both in other parts of Russia and outside Russia’s borders.

Hit the link for much more.

  • MusicBear88

    Shame on you, Rex Tillerson, for living down to our expectations.

    • jimbo65

      The most inept Secretary of state ever.

      • Capritaur

        He’s doing exactly what he’s hired to do: selling America to the highest bidder.

      • Halou

        Putin only appointed him to do one thing, and that is cancel sanctions. Human rights have no place in Russia.

        • jonfromcalifornia

          Well, we know what is ultimately responsible for the horrible persecution of the LGBT community in Russia and Chechnya – conservative religion. Russian Orthodoxy in Russia and Islam in Chechnya. Remove that poison and people might have a heart again.

          • Westcoast88

            Didn’t you hear, the Russian Orthodox Church is sprinkling holy water on government computers infected with viruses.

      • TampaDink

        But quite possibly the best one that Russia has ever suggested for the job.

      • Jerry

        And his ineptness is mostly caused by firing all the institutional seniority in the State Dept. Like Trump, he didn’t think he needed those career bureaucrats…you can’t do the job without the specialists, with years of experience dealing with the various countries.

    • Smokey

      When Rex, Donald, and the rest of the current cabal is finally brought down may they be put aboard the St. Louis and spend the rest of their lives drifting from port to port seeking sanctuary.

  • another_steve

    LGBT people who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton… happy now?

    • RLK2

      PS: They should be embarrassed by the LGBT community spamming this all over social media, MSN, etc. Make them explain it!

    • What do the homocons care about Chechen men fleeing persecution? One half got their mansion in all white neighborhoods and the other half are trying to please their homophobic daddies.

      • JWC

        Shit they don’t care about them here Who ssaid charity begins at home Not these shitheels

        • Marilynjwilder

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj190d:
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      • Tread

        It’s not just the homocons. Those fucking BernieBots own this also.

        • That_Looks_Delicious

          More than 80% of Bernie supporters voted for Hillary, from what I’ve read. Could it have been better? Yes, but I don’t think there’s much to be gained in rehashing that business. Of greater concern was the part the Berniebros played in spreading fake news and memes and hit pieces on Hillary during the primary, and that they were deliberately targeted by Putin’s cyber-army as, for the most part, unwitting accomplices. In the US and in all western democracies, we really need to focus on finding a way to defend against the Kremlin’s new strategies to undermine democracy from within.

          The other thing is reforming our electoral system. Even with Putin’s interference, Hillary still got the second highest number of votes ever in a presidential election (only Obama in ’08 got more). Think about that: the person who got the second highest number of votes in U.S. history still lost the election. Gerrymandering, unsecure electronic voting machines, voter disenfranchisement and the electoral college itself need to be focused on.

    • Jonty Coppersmith

      They don’t care, privileged assholes. Time for Nikki Haley to speak more loudly and intervene on behalf of these persecuted folks.

    • northern_neighbour

      3 million more voted for Hillary and she is not the President?

      What the Fuck is wrong with the USA, … The Electoral College has been gaming “We the People” from virtually forever. The SYSTEM IS RIGGED and always has been. Despite that those LGBT in PA, MI and WI who stayed home or voted Trump can do the Walk of Shame. But it was more that Stein and Johnson syphoned off votes, plus voter suppression efforts and the Hillary campaign taking the Rust Belt for granted.

      Doesn’t change the fact that the Nov. 8 result was TOTALLY ILLEGITIMATE by any reasonable measure of DEMOCRACY. The USA is not very democratic at all these days. And Trump is destroying the Federal Government … one which would have protected LGBT people before this and issued visas.

      • another_steve

        Very very well said, n_n.

        When it was established, there were historical/contextual reasons for the Electoral College. That was then, though, and now is now. It needs to be eliminated.

        Homocons and Sanders/Stein/Johnson supporters — particularly in those swing Electoral College states — who on Election Day did not vote for Hillary Clinton are partly to blame for the current horror.

        They can try and justify their decisions not to vote for her any old way they wish.

        Bottom line: They are partly to blame for the current horror.

        • AJD

          I agree completely. But I keep hearing people say they’re not to blame for skewing results in the swing states because they wouldn’t have voted for Clinton anyway. BUT THAT’S THE WHOLE FUCKING PROBLEM – that they decided to act like a bunch of toddlers having a temper tantrum over not getting everything they want right now instead of seeing the big giant pile of reality sitting before their eyes.

    • Todd20036

      All those Bernie bastards must really be glad our state department won’t let icky gays in the Us

    • MonochromeMouse

      They are, all they cared about was that Hillary wasn’t the president.

    • M Jackson

      I doubt they care about Chechen gays, they would have to be one.

    • david fairfield

      I believe they don’t have a clue as to whats going on around them, beint fans of FOX “news” and all.

    • bkmn

      I nearly blew a fuse yesterday as I was driving and heard NPR hosting a gay man who was also a Trump supporter and he talked about enforcing the laws on the books. I screamed so damn loud – “What about the emoluments clause of the Constitution asshole?”

      • another_steve

        Ya know, bkmn, I can actually find it in my effeminate little heart to forgive an LGBT person who voted for Stein or Johnson. Or a Sanders supporter who stayed home on Election Day. They did wrong. They are partly to blame for Donald Trump’s win, but I can forgive them.

        An LGBT person who voted for Trump, however, I cannot forgive.

        I wish for them multiple non-repairable hernias that make their lives a torment.

        • UrsusArctos

          I made my Mom promise to NOT tell me if any of the family members I figure voted 45* let her know they actually did it if she ever wanted me to be in their presence again. I’m not engaging with those people because I’m 90% sure of their sympathies. If I get confirmation, they’re dead to me.

      • UrsusArctos

        A effing LATINO gay man who was all for 45* AND the effing wall. I almost swerved off the road as well.

    • xtian

      are you for real?

  • Do Something Nice

    I’m telling you, the Trump, Russia, Turkey troika is going to fuck everyone over.

    • Do Something Nice

      We wouldn’t want to hurt our ‘diplomatic’ relations with Russia now, would we. You faggots eat dirt.

    • Bluto

      The new axis of evil.

  • MaryJOGrady

    Oh, hell, no.
    The *Swiss* are taking in Chechen sexual minority group members. The *Swiss.*

  • j.martindale

    I am ashamed of our country, again.

  • David in Tucson

    Shame on the U.S. and on the European Union!

  • Lazycrockett
  • RLK2

    What did anyone expect? I am sure Pence is happy to allow the murder of gay people. That is what they want anyway! Resist or die!

  • safari

    History repeating

  • kevway

    Forget the US…Flee to France

    • Vista-Cruiser

      Or any other western European country. Or Canada.

  • Tawreos

    Land of the free and home of the brave, my ass. I guess it only works for white heterosexual christians

    • JWC

      You did not know this??? This land is my land This land is MY land

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    I didn’t think there was any news left that could make me sick to my stomach, but this did it.

  • bkmn

    I saw there was a statement after the hate crimes conviction from the State Dept. stating support for minority rights, especially against those crimes motivated by hate. I had a feeling it was written by a career State employee and this pretty much confirms it.

  • jimbo65

    This sorry ass president is going to be responsible for so many deaths by his inaction as well as spouting off his fat mouth and compromising assets.

  • skyweaver

    Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled straight masses yearning to breathe free.

    • safari

      Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled straight masses yearning to breathe free. rich investors.

      • JWC

        Gotta love the GOP…. no wait No you don’t

    • carrot festival

      You left out white Jesus loving

      • clay

        Yes, we know the current administrations attitude towards “majority muslim” areas.

    • Halou

      Trump stopped liking French imports after Le Pen wasn’t made President after getting fewer votes in the election.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada
      • skyweaver

        Wow this is good

        • Jean-Marc in Canada

          Thanks, I do what I can.

  • MaryJOGrady

    Here are suggestions for some things we can do, besides of course venting our wrath on the State Department:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2017/04/20/gay_and_bi_men_in_chechnya_need_your_help_here_are_some_options.html

  • whollyfool

    Writing my Congress people!

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      According to staffers, calling has more effect. Going to their office is better.

  • Mark Ross

    Proud to be an American? Not since November 8th. Disgusted.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Elections have consequences.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Deadly consequences

  • Lazycrockett
    • fuzzybits

      Someone’s going to be moving to South Bend soon.

  • boatboy_srq

    Because of course they did.

  • Halou

    Now, if they could each pay just $500,000 to Jared Kushner they could be guaranteed an investor visa and let into the country with all the fanfare and pomp that nepotism can provide.

    • Hue-Man

      Everyone has ACCESS to those investor visas!

      • canoebum

        Almost everyone. But the investment requirement, if I recall, is $1,000,000, not $500,000. So telling a group of potential buyers of your offering that $500,000 will do the trick seems like a smoldering fire of fraud to me.

  • Ninja0980

    So much for being a friend of the LGBT community eh?

  • Andymac3

    But Jared’s sister can get them a visa for just 500,000 dollars, no questions asked, there must be so many to go round that he’s giving them out to his family to sell on.

    • Halou

      Primarily targeting his sales pitch to currency manipulator China. Oh, and we’re having a trade war with Canada, because reasons.

  • TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND ITS FEARLESS LEADERS:

    I have a question: “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”*

    (*quoted from Joseph Welch statement to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, during the Army-McCarthy hearings, but certainly applicable to the Twitler Administration)

  • Will Parkinson

    Dirty fuckers. (Pardon my language.)

  • fuzzybits

    Fuck you,you evil people!

  • AmeriCanadian

    So sad. I hope Canada can make room for them.

    • Hue-Man

      Canada’s excuse.

      Without mentioning Chechnya specifically, the department [Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada] said that LGTBQ people in danger are among the vulnerable groups Canada resettles. However, it also said that to be considered for resettlement in Canada, asylum-seekers need to be outside their country of origin.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/activists-chechnya-gay-men-detained-moscow-1.4110140

      • AmeriCanadian

        That sounds like a carryover from Harper’s reign. I can’t believe Trudeau’s government would continue this horrible policy.

        • Hue-Man

          I suspect there’s a logistical problem; a gay Chechen shows up at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow or the Canadian Consulate in Vladivostok and claims asylum. How does Canada get him out of Russia? He can’t stay at the Embassy/Consulate indefinitely.

          • ETownCanuck

            No, it’s only the Ecuadorian Embassy that allows that….

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    NO !

  • Silver Badger

    This is not acceptable.

  • coram nobis
    • canoebum

      Yes, but the Kremlin said they looked into it, and there’s nothing to report.

    • clay

      but also, they can’t have passed through a “safe haven”, which is how the current administration wiggles out of that.

  • ralphb

    For New Yorkers, there’s a candle light vigil at Washington Square Park tomorrow from 9pm to 11pm.
    There will be a simultaneous event in San Francisco (don’t know the location) at 6pm..

    • TuuxKabin

      Thank you. Spreading the info to both cities’ friends.

  • Tim McAnulty

    Guys I found two charities that are helping get gays out of Chechnya. I made a post about the two verified charities and here is a link to the details. It takes $5000 per person to get tickets and paper work done. So far canada is accepting some of them http://imgur.com/gallery/bW4YA Please if you can help, please do.

  • Silver Badger

    Impotent rage is my only reaction. Can we petition George Soros to put a hit on the pissant and his administration, with special emphasis on Sessions and Tillerson?

    • Silver Badger

      I’m sorry Joe. I may have crossed the line with the above comment, but a thinking and feeling man can only take so much before he snaps.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        You could Edit

        • Silver Badger

          Nope. Editing would only retract my statement. I stand behind my statement. My only regret is violating the JMG guidelines.

          • William

            Let Trump live out his life in shame and disgrace.

          • Silver Badger

            I respect your opinion. I wish I could agree with it.

    • Todd20036

      I don’t think anyone wants to hit on Trump, including his wife.

    • canoebum

      We’re all mad as hell. Ballots, not bullets. Prosecutions will also work.

  • Michael

    Wow, shit like this and it’s as if America almost deserves what she’s about to get.

    Unfortunately we’re going to be on the brunt end of this one.

    • Silver Badger

      Again

  • Brooklyn Joe

    This is like during WWII when we turned away the ship filled with refugee German Jews.

    • canoebum

      The S.S. St. Louis. One of the most shameful episodes in American history. Ranks right up there with the internment of Japanese Americans. That this regime would repeat such shameful behavior is no surprise. I hope an underground railroad of some fashion is being developed in the bordering countries. BTW, most of the Jewish passengers on the St. Louis ended up in concentration camps and were exterminated.

    • Eric

      It’s more akin to after WWII when we left gays in the concentration camps to serve out their prison terms.

      • Jerry Kott

        Paragraph 175?

  • Gerry Fisher

    You own this, Homocons.

    • Vista-Cruiser

      They have no problem. All they want is their tax cuts.

  • ultragreen

    Disgusting and predictable behavior on the part of the Trump administration.

  • Richard, another Canuck

    Canada will step up and take them in…

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      This is actually a good suggestion. Of course, once in Canada, they should reciprocate by tipping generously for good service. Thank you.

  • jawnbc

    Meanwhille the Lithuania government—not exactly a homophilic one—has just granted two of these guys visas http://upnorth.eu/lithuania-grants-asylum-two-russians-fleeing-lgbt-persecution/

  • Uncle Mark

    Goddammit !! Every damned day, it’s not just one horrible evil thing that comes out of this regime; it’s several. Frankly, I didn’t expect the Drumpf regime to take in any gays seeking sanctuary. It wouldn’t play well to his “religious” bigot base; plus it might upset the puppet-master, Putie. Hearing this happen, despite my expectations, sickens me, nonetheless !!

  • Every homocon can eat shit and die. The lie that Trump would help gay people who are being harmed by Muslims was obviously bullshit but they used it to sell the bigger lie that Trump wasn’t anti gay. Fucking motherfucking fucktards.

    • Hank

      They are “Muslims” AND Gay, so why the Fvck, should Hair Drumpf, Tillerson or anyone else in the administration care!!!! /s

  • Dejerrity Mycron

    I’m willing to close the borders if it means that Trump can’t come back into the US.

  • leastyebejudged

    End the USA.

    • mizzourah

      You a terrorist?

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Lithuania just took in a few gay Chechen men yesterday. Spain has taken in some gay & lesbian Syrian couples that made a lot of news there, too.

  • JCF
  • heyjjh

    What is wrong with America??? Geeeeeze! I hate this rotten government.

  • SDG

    America, YOU SUCK!!!

  • DanimalChgo

    You all know about Resistbot, right? Text “resist” to 50409 or message it on Facebook and it guides you through writing directly to your congresspeople. I just used it to write them about this! Why is our strangely pro-Russian state department turning its back to LGBT people fleeing for their very lives?!

  • Steve 907

    Masha Gessen, who really knows this material, says that these reports are false:
    Masha Gessen
    18 hrs ·

    On the other story of the day: friends, please stop reposting the report that the U.S. has denied visas to Chechen gay men. It’s not true. Activists in Russia and elsewhere have been talking to the governments of more than a dozen countries for the last two months. So far not one country has issued visas, but there have also been no denials. It’s an excruciatingly long process. I am by no means defending this administration – and it is worth noting that while the State Department has issued a statement on the Chechen raids, Rex Tillerson himself has been conspicuously silent – but let’s stick to the facts. “U.S. has denied visas to Chechen gay men” is not a true statement.