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Prosecutors launch probe into media reports on ‘abductions of gays’ in Chechnya

April 17, 14:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On April 1, Novaya Gazeta published an article which referred to abductions and possible killings of Chechen residents over their non-traditional sexual orientation

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MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies have launched an investigation into mass media reports on the alleged abductions of gays in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, the press service of Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office told TASS on Monday.

The prosecutors had received requests from Russian human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova and the management of Russian daily Novaya Gazeta to investigate the "alleged mass abductions" in Chechnya.

"Currently, prosecutors from the Chechen Republic and the region’s law enforcement agencies have launched probes into the alleged abductions of people," the press service said.

On April 1, Novaya Gazeta published an article on its website entitled "Honor Killing" which referred to abductions and possible killings of Chechen residents over their non-traditional sexual orientation or on suspicion of being gay. According to the report, lately more than 100 men have been detained in the republic and three of them have been allegedly killed. Chechnya’s authorities have rejected the accusations.

On April 6, Moskalkova said she would check these reports, saying that she asked Chechnya’s interior minister if any complaints about abductions had been submitted. The republic’s ministry said it had not received any such complaints between January 1 and April 1. "We spoke to a well-known human rights activist and she also said that she had not received any such complaints. Now I have sent requests to the republic’s prosecutor and the Prosecutor-General’s Office," she stated.

Moskalkova also said the publication of Novaya Gazeta was strange as it did not give any particular details about names, circumstances and the date of alleged abductions.

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