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Germany grants rare humanitarian visa to gay man fleeing Chechnya

Germany grants rare humanitarian visa to gay man fleeing Chechnya

Angela Merkel opens the door on same-sex marriage

Germany has granted its first visa to a gay man from Chechnya.

The man arrived in the country on Tuesday (6 June), according to German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.

He was granted a special humanitarian visa.

‘We are happy we’re able to help in especially difficult cases,’ the German Foreign Ministry told the paper.

These residence permits are very rarely given out in Germany, as well as other EU states, but can be granted to people ‘on urgent humanitarian grounds’.

The man was initially interviewed at the German Embassy in Moscow.

Following his interview, the foreigners’ registration office in Germany decided he fulfilled all requirements to be granted a visa.

Several other applicants have also been invited to the embassy so they could make statements.

‘The Federal Government checks which meaningful protection can be granted in the interest of the affected person in every case,’ the embassy said.

Three further men have already been interviewed and might soon be able to leave for Germany.

Germany is the third reported country to take in Chechens fleeing the persecution of gay men.

First was Lithuania, who took in two gay men according to its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Linas Linkevic.

France has also taken in one refugee; more are expected to follow in his steps.

On 1 April Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta broke news of Chechnya operating a concentration camp for gay men.

At least 100 men were believed to be illegally detained, and three men were killed.

Survivors shared accounts of violence and torture, in one case by means of a ‘homemade’ electric chair, so they would give up the names of other gay men.

On 25 April it was revealed Chechnya was now operating six camps, with at least 200 men illegally detained.

The camp has now been destroyed, and the interned men have been taken to a secret location.