00:40 GMT +318 July 2018
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    Tatiana Moskalkova, Human Rights Commissioner in Russian Federation, speaks at a State Duma plenary session

    Russian Rights Ombudsman to Send Team to Chechnya to Probe Gay Persecutions

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    Russian human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova is going to send team specializing on criminal issues to investigate alleged persecution of gay men.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova intends to send her team to Russia's Chechen Republic to investigate alleged persecution of gay men, after which the commissioner may also pay a visit to the republic, she said Sunday.

    "First of all I am planning that my team, team members specializing on criminal issues will visit [Chechnya]. Depending on the results, I will also travel there. I have to go there with concrete facts. I am receiving these facts. As soon as I get the package [of facts] needed for a dialogue with the authorities, I will travel to Chechnya," Moskalkova told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    In early April, the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that the Chechen authorities had been detaining and torturing suspected members of the local LGBT community. Responding to the reports, Alvi Karimov, a spokesman for Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov, called them "a lie."

    On May 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Moskalkova that he planned to ask the Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry to assist her in inspecting the reported persecution of gay men in the North Caucasus. Moskalkova told Putin she had submitted relevant requests to the prosecutor's office and investigative bodies.

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    human rights, gay rights, Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia, Chechnya
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