Russian gay couple gets asylum in Finland

Gay rights activists holding balloons are seen through a rainbow flag in St Petersburg, Russia, on May 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Olga Maltseva)
A Russian gay couple has been granted asylum in Finland because of the discrimination they faced at home over their sexual orientation, Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported on Friday.
Vladimir Naumov and Vasily Kolesnikov applied for asylum in the Nordic country in September 2014 and the two men were informed earlier this week that it had been granted, the paper said.
Finnish immigration officials could not be reached on Friday to confirm the report.
The couple said they had been subjected to physical violence, discrimination and intimidation in Russia.
They now live in the northern Finnish town of Rovaniemi and are learning Finnish.
Last year, Finnish immigration services approved a total of 1,400 asylum applications, out of 3,700 rulings, Helsingin Sanomat said.
Russia has banned same-sex marriage, and opposes support for equal rights for homosexuals, often calling such efforts "propaganda."

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