A gay rights group in Russia has filed a defamation suit against the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta over its reports on the persecution of homosexuals in the North Caucasus region of Chechnya.
GayRussia founder Nikolai Alekseyev said on April 19 that the group wants Novaya Gazeta to formally retract reports that suggested efforts by the group to organize public events in Chechnya advocating gay rights led to a wave of abuses against gay men there.
The lawsuit was filed with Moscow’s Basmanny District Court. The activists want the newspaper to pay them 1 million rubles ($17,800) in moral damages, which they say would be given to charities in Chechnya.
Alekseyev also said that he plans to ask the state Investigative Committee to open an investigation on suspicion of libel.
Novaya Gazeta's reports alleging mass arrests, torture, and killings of gay men in Chechnya have sparked concern worldwide.