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Putin Supports Plan to Investigate Reported Abuse of Gay Men in Chechnya

by Associated Press /
Russian President Vladimir PutinPavel Golovkin / AFP - Getty Images

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Russia's human rights ombudsman he will speak with law enforcement officials about the reported torture of gay men in Chechnya.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin Pavel Golovkin / AFP - Getty Images

Tatyana Moskalkova asked Putin on Friday to support her request to form a group in Moscow to investigate the treatment of gays in the southern Russian region.

Putin agreed to her proposal for investigating what he called "the well-known information, or rumors" about what is happening to people "with a non-traditional sexual orientation."

Related: Kidnapping, Torture, Murder: Refugees Speak of Chechnya's Anti-Gay Purge

The abuse was first reported in April by the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which said about 100 suspected gay men were rounded up and tortured, and at least three were killed.

Putin's comments reflect how Russian officials have played down the report. Moskalkova earlier said she doubted such abuse took place.

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