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RUSSIA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Publicly Pressures Putin To Stop Chechen Abuses Of Gay Men

The Independent reports:

Angela Merkel has publicly raised concern over the reported prosecution of gay men in Chechnya with Vladimir Putin, following wide-ranging talks. The German Chancellor raised the alleged capture and torture of more than 100 people at a joint press conference with the Russian President in Sochi.

The Kremlin has backed the Chechen government’s denials over the brutal campaign, saying it had “no information” to support research by journalists and human rights groups. Ms Merkel called on the Russian government to properly investigate the allegations and ensure that LGBT people are fully protected in the territories and elsewhere.

She also called for freedom of assembly to be protected, after Russian riot police arrested protesters demonstrating against the persecution. “It’s important to have the right to demonstrate in a democracy, and the role of NGOs is very importance,” Ms Merkel said.

At this writing, there doesn’t appear to be any report regarding Putin’s reaction.