#Emmanuel Macron has called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to safeguard the human rights of gay people in the Russian republic of #chechnya after allegations of abuse on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (#LGBT) community.

During talks with Putin in France, Macron spoke at a news conference of his discussions with the Russian president in Versailles.

"I emphasised to President Putin... how important it is for France to respect all people, all minorities," Macron said.

"We spoke about the cases of LGBT people in Chechnya... I told President Putin what France is expecting regarding this issue, and we agreed to regularly check on this subject."

Macron revealed that the Russian president had told him of a number of initiatives with the Chechnyan LGBT community, with measures “aimed at establishing the whole truth about the activities of local authorities."

Demonstration in Paris

Before the meeting on Monday 29 May, demonstrators held a banner reading "Stop homophobia in Chechnya” in front of the iconic symbol of France, the Eiffel Tower.

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One man spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, saying that hundreds of gay men were being beaten and tortured in detention centres because of their sexuality.

Speaking from a safe house, another Chechen man said: "They started beating me with their fists and feet. They wanted to get names of my gay friends from me."

He added: "Then they tied wires to my hands and put metal clippers on my ears to electrocute me.”

Gay men are fleeing Chechnya

Claims of persecuting LGBT people in Chechnya has brought widespread condemnation from the international stage. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also sought Putin's assurance that the rights of minorities in Chechnya would be upheld.

Tatiana Vinnichenko from the Russian LGBT Network said that many gay men are fleeing Chechnya. Lithuanian foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, stated that visas were issued to two gay Chechen men who were "persecuted because of their sexual orientation."

According to independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, around 100 men suspected of being gay have been kidnapped as part of a Chechnyan government campaign.

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There are also reports that three men have been killed by their captors.

Secretary-General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Thorbjorn Jagland has also spoken out, saying he had been "informed of worrying allegations by some media and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) about serious human rights violations against LGBT persons in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation".

The existence of LGBT people was denied by Alvi Karimov, spokesman for Chechnya's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, saying that "nobody can detain or harass anyone who is simply not present in the republic".