With the United States showing no signs of doing the same, France has started taking in gay refugees from Chechnya.

“The first gay Chechen refugee arrived on French land,” Joël Deumier, president of French LGBT rights organization SOS Homophobie, said on FranceInfo today.

“France has started to welcome Chechen refugees. This is going to continue.”

Deumier also shared that SOS Homophobie helped with the refugee’s application and provided testimony indicating he was oppressed because of his sexual orientation.

Deumier said SOS Homophobie was not convinced Russia was doing enough to truly investigate the claims coming out of its federal subject.

“Mr. Putin has said that he has started an investigation, that it is not true, that there is no violence or murder of gay people. That’s completely false. We have concrete proof. We can no longer accept this discourse of denial from Russia against gay people.”

The Chechen refugee actually arrived during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit with newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at Versailles.

After their meeting, Macron said he spoke to Putin about LGBT rights in Chechnya and announced he would be “constantly vigilant” on the issue.

Earlier this month, Buzzfeed News reported the State Department denied visas to gay Chechens fleeing persecution.


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