Nobel Peace Prize: Russian laureate 'told to turn down award'
Yan Rachinsky, who heads Memorial, said he was told not to accept the prize because the two other co-laureates - a Ukrainian human rights organisation and jailed Belarusian rights defender - were deemed "inappropriate", Qazet.az reports.
Memorial is one of Russia's oldest civil rights groups, and was shut down by the government last year.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has been contacted for comment.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC's HARDtalk programme, Mr Rachinsky said his organisation had been advised to decline the award, but "naturally, we took no notice of this advice".