Canada May Face Consequences For Harbouring Gay Chechens, says Russian Official

Amid reports of gay Chechens secretly being given refuge in Canada via an ‘underground railroad’, a Russian official says there will be an investigation.

Canada Chechnya

Spokesman for the Russian embassy in Ottawa, Kirill Kalinin sent an email to The Globe and Mail saying:”Any legal irregularities, if proven true, shall be duly investigated.”

The Canadian government has been bringing people from Chechnya and the North Caucasus and housing them in secret safe-houses since last June. Many of the refugees are gay men who were arrested and tortured by Chechen officials earlier this year, and who are at risk of being murdered in honour-killings by their families, encouraged by the Chechen state.

According to John Ibbitson, reporter for The Globe and Mail, it isn’t known whether the Canadian program to bring those in hiding to Canada as refugees violates Russian law. But experts in immigration and refugee law say the Canadian program is unconventional but not unprecedented.

Mr. Kalinin had no further comment on the Russian position, saying, “We do not comment on media reports citing anonymous official ‘sources.'”

Russia’s anger with Canada could be intensified by knowing that the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Chrystia Freeland took the lead in creating the underground railroad.

Ms. Freeland was banned from entering Russia by Vladimir Putin after criticised Russia’s human-rights record and its infiltration of Ukraine.

© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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