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Trump State Department Denying Visas for Gay Men Fleeing Chechnya’s Kidnappings, Torture and Murders

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More Than 80 People Have Requested Assistance

The Trump administration’s Department of State is refusing U.S. visas to dozens of gay men from Chechnya seeking to flee Russia after a wave of kidnappings, torture, and murders of other gay men.

The group of approximately 40 are hiding in fear of retribution from the government in Chechnya, which is led by Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov. 

According to a report by Buzzfeed‘s J. Lester Feder published Tuesday, the Russian LGBT Network is claiming that the United States has declined to issue the visas. Russian LGBT Network spokesperson, Svetlana Zakharova, told Feder the forty gay Chechens fled the semi-autonomous Caucus Republic without visas, because they believed the danger of staying was too great.

On its website the Russian LGBT Network reports more than 80 people have requested assistance.

After the Russian opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta first reported the abuse of gay Chechens in April, only two have managed to secure visas to safe countries despite the European Union and the United States expressing concern about the allegations, Zakharova said told Buzzfeed.

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

The team of the Russian LGBT Network would like to thank many of you around the world for showing your support for the…

Posted by Russian LGBT Network on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Header photo: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on May 10, 2016.

RELATED STORIES:

Gay Man From Chechnya: ‘If I Go Home, They Will Kill Me’

Personal Accounts of Torture and Abuse Revealed as President of Chechnya Calls for Elimination of Gays Before Ramadan

Journalist Who Broke Chechnya’s ‘Gay Concentration Camp’ Story To Flee Russia Following Threats

Image by МИД России via Flickr and a CC license

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GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

First Capitol Riot Hearing ‘Is Going to Be a Disastrous Day for Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter

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The first Capitol riot select committee hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Politico reporter Rachel Bade predicted it would create major headaches for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.

Specifically, Bade pointed to the fact McCarthy pulled all of his nominees out of the committee, which means that he will have no one to challenge the narrative that gets established.

“Tomorrow is going to be a disastrous day for McCarthy on both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “You are going to have men and women in uniform testifying about the violence they witnessed on January 6th. McCarthy is still sticking with Trump. That… is going to be tough for the party and tough for him. He decided to withdraw all his members from this committee, so he is not going to have anybody to push back on anything that is being said.”

Additionally, Bade said that the four far-right lawmakers who are planning to hold a press conference highlighting the alleged mistreatment of jailed Capitol rioters are also likely to create a public relations nightmare for McCarthy.

“These people were rioters. [They’re] calling them [political] prisoners now?” she said. “It’s going to be impossible for McCarthy.”

Watch the video below.

 

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NOT POLITICAL PRISONERS

4 Top Trump-Supporting House Republicans ‘Demanding Answers’ on ‘Treatment’ of January 6 ‘Prisoners’

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The U.S. Dept.  of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.

On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.

Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the “treatment” of the January 6 “prisoners,” suggesting they are “political prisoners,” which is false.

The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners” from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.

“This is taking place on the same day as the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing,” Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “is also holding a presser ahead of that to counterprogram.”

“The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr,” Solender says in a Forbes article.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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