Several activists were detained in Moscow on Thursday as they prepared to submit signatures they collected to protest the arbitrary detention and torture of a gay man in Chechnya, the Associated Press reported.
The anti-gay abuse surfaced in April in which 100 suspected gay men were reportedly rounded up and tortured. At least three were killed.
LGBT activist Igor Yasin said five people were detained Thursday outside the Prosecutor General's Office as they brought about two million signatures to protest the treatment of gay people in the predominantly Muslim region in Russia's south.
Avaaz's campaign director, Bert Wander, described the detentions as a "blatant attempt by Russia to intimidate those standing up for gay people (which) will only draw more global attention to the horrors unfolding in Chechnya."
Last week, President Vladimir Putin promised the country's human rights ombudswoman that he would speak with law enforcement officials about the reported violence. Tatyana Moskalkova, the ombudswoman, has asked for a taskforce to be formed to investigate the treatment of gays in Chechnya.
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