At least 27 people were killed by security forces in Chechnya earlier this year, according to an independent Russian newspaper.
Novaya Gazeta—the publication that originally broke the news on the crisis in Chechnya—cited two unidentified sources in a report Sunday, which alleged that the victims were rounded up in December 2016 and summarily executed on the night of January 26.
The sources claimed that no official paperwork was ever filed nor were the victims, assumed to be gay men, ever formally arrested.
“According to our information, the detainees were shot that night and were taken to various cemeteries, including Christian, and buried in hastily dug graves,” the report said.
A source within the interior ministry gave the paper the names of the victims, but reporters were unable to locate any of them, writing that their inquiries were “met with incredible fear from everyone we questioned.”
“As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true,” a representative of the Russian LGBT Network told the International Business Times.
“With regards to the sexual orientation of those killed, as far as we know there are homosexual people in this list, but not all of them at all.”
Chechen officials have since denied the allegations.
Last week, the Russian LGBT Network and All Out claimed that the Russian-controlled republic had resumed its arrests of gay men.
“My colleagues and I have seen first hand the pain and suffering of those who have survived the horror of illegal arrest and torture,” said Igor Kochetkov of the Russian LGBT Network. “Russia is failing in its responsibility to allow its own citizens to live in safety and has also failed to hold anyone to account for the appalling abuses that have already taken place.”