A prosecutor in Chechnya has asked a court to block websites that carrying content from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which recently posted a lewd comic strip taking aim at the Russian region's Kremlin-backed leader over allegations of a campaign of abuse against gay men.
The regional prosecutor's office said on May 31 that the prosecutor in Chechnya's Shali district filed a request asking a court in the capital, Grozny, to restrict access to content in Charlie Hebdo that "aims to insult the religious sentiments of believers" and could incite hatred.
The statement did not name any specific website or specify what content it was referring to.
But in May, some websites and social networks posted material that included a Charlie Hebdo comic strip featuring caricatures mocking Chechen authorities and regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov over what rights groups and media reports say has been a gruesome campaign targeting men perceived to be gay.
One drawing in the comic appears to depict Kadyrov engaged in a sexual act.
Kadyrov said in May that Charlie Hebdo’s "editorial policy is immoral and inhuman...and has nothing to do with freedom of expression."