Russian gay couple granted asylum in Finland

Finland has granted Vladimir Naumov and Vasily Kolesnikov protection from discrimination in their native Russia, according to a report from Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The couple applied for asylum in Finland in September 2014 after enduring physical violence, intimidation and discrimination back home. They have been informed that immigration officials ruled in their favour, the Finnish paper reports. pride Finland’s immigration guidelines state that a person “will be granted asylum if you reside outside your home country or country of permanent residence because you have a justifiable reason to fear persecution there”. The Nordic country approved 1,400 asylum applications out of 3,700 rulings, Helsingin Sanomat says. Russia decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, but the country remains notoriously anti-gay. Authorities have clamped down on the LGBT movement; in 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of gay “propaganda”. Naumov and Kolesnikov have begun their new life in the Lapland city of Rovaniemi, where they are learning Finnish and hoping to find employment.