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Chechnya's leader invites Macron, Merkel to visit his region

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/05/2017
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin visit an exhibition about Russian emperor Peter the Great at the Grand Trianon after a working meeting at the Versailles Palace near Paris, France, Monday, May 29, 2017. (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP) © The Associated Press French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin visit an exhibition about Russian emperor Peter the Great at the Grand Trianon after a working meeting at the Versailles Palace near Paris, France, Monday, May 29, 2017. (Etienne Laurent/Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW — The leader of Russia's Chechnya has invited the French president and the German chancellor to visit his region and check for themselves the reports about gay people being killed and tortured there.

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in April that gay men in Chechnya had been tortured and killed by police. The Associated Press last month spoke to two victims of the crackdown who backed the reports.

On Monday, after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters he had raised these reports with Putin.

Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov in a social media post Tuesday accused European leaders of relying on "false information." Kadyrov said Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were welcome to visit Chechnya "in a search for the truth."

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