German Chancellor Pressures Putin to Defend Chechen Gays and Jehovah’s Witnesses

German leader asked Putin to use his influence to protect the rights of gays in Chechnya, where independent journalists say local security forces have detained and tortured more than 100 gay men. Merkel also raised concerns about Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and the Russian Supreme Court’s recent decision to outlaw the religious group.

Putin did not respond to Merkel’s comments about gays or Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Kremlin has stood by Chechen state officials, who deny the very existence of gays in Chechnya

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