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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechnya-Bound Germans Sent Home

BERLIN -- Russian officials refused entry to three Germans -- including a one-time Cabinet minister -- who planned to visit Chechnya to check at first hand the human rights situation there, a member of the group said Wednesday.

Guenter Wallraff, a writer, said that, although they held valid Russian visas and their plans were known to authorities, the three were ordered by officials at the Moscow airport to get back on board the Lufthansa plane that had brought them from Germany when they arrived Tuesday afternoon.

Wallraff, speaking by telephone from Cologne, said he was traveling with Norbert Bluem, who served as labor minister under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and Rupert Neudeck, the former head of German relief agency Cap Anamur. The group, traveling at their own expense and initiative, had planned to meet in Moscow on Wednesday with the leader of the Kremlin-appointed Chechen government, Akhmad Kadyrov, Wallraff said.