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Russian prosecutor demands that LGBT-hating far-right group ‘Male State’ be labelled by court as banned extremist organization

Russian prosecutor demands that LGBT-hating far-right group ‘Male State’ be labelled by court as banned extremist organization
The Prosecutor’s Office in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has filed a lawsuit demanding that Male State, a far-right hate group known for online harassment, be declared an extremist organization and banned from operating.

Founded in 2016 by Vladislav Pozdnyakov, the movement is known for harassment of women, minorities and LGBT people.

According to a case listed on the website of the Nizhny Novgorod regional court, the authorities have asked the court to designate Male State as an extremist organization, with Pozdnyakov and two other senior members named as co-defendants.

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Male State made the news in August when leader Pozdnyakov told supporters to go after companies deemed to be overly tolerant to non-traditional ideas. Most famously, he called on his followers to target the YobiDoyobi sushi chain after it featured a black male model in its advertisements. He also took aim at Japanese reastaurant Tanuki for including a rainbow in promotion material, and attacked grocery store chain VkusVill for a marketing campaign featuring a lesbian couple.

Writing on his Telegram channel on Tuesday, Pozdnyakov admitted that “there will soon be a trial for the recognition of Men’s State as an extremist community,” but refused to accept that he still runs the group. He also claimed that “dirty cops and prosecutors” are working together with “LGBT propagandists,” suggesting that Tanuki is paying them.

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In 2018, Pozdnyakov was given a two-year suspended sentence for “actions aimed at humiliating human dignity in relation to women.” A year later, the conviction was overturned. He now lives abroad, in Northern Cyprus.

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