Angela Merkel visits Russia and asks Putin to leave gays alone

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BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 22: German Chancellor Angela Merkel prepares to welcome French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Chancellery on September 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Valls is on a two-day visit to Germany at a time when Merkel has been critical of the slow pace of French economic reforms. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Chancellor of Germany urged the President of Russia to investigate the cases of homophobic persecution in the Republic of Chechnya. During the rare summit Merkel demanded Putin not to stay indifferent to the violation of human rights in his country. Reports last month alleged that more than 100 gay men have been detained in a ‘purge’ in the region, with many feared dead. The staff of the newspaper that reported about the purge currently receives death threatens. “We believe in an exchange even if there are differences of opinion. We spoke about the rights and opinions of civil society here in Russia. The right to demonstrate is important in a civil society, and I also highlighted the roles of NGOs.” We have received negative reports on the way that homosexuals are dealt with in Chechnya particularly, and I asked President Putin to use his influence to [help] gay people in the region,” Merkel told Putin. He refused to reply.

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