"We are deeply concerned by the report in the respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which claims that more than 100 men, suspected of being gay, were rounded up and detained by authorities", declared MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament.

S&D Group vice-president Elena Valenciano MEP, human rights committee chair Pier Antonio Panzeri MEP and S&D human rights co-ordinator Soraya Post MEP said:

"We are particularly concerned by reports that three of these men have been killed.

"The assurances from a Chechen government spokesperson that homosexuals "simply do not exist in the republic" is not at all reassuring.

"The S&D Group demands that these alarming claims are fully investigated and appropriate measures taken by the authorities.

"The Chechen government must ensure that human-rights violations against the LGBTI community stop immediately. The first step is to acknowledge the existence of homosexuals.

"We demand a full investigation into the alleged detainments of more than 100 men who are believed to be gay and furthermore a separate investigation into the alleged deaths of three of these men."

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