Moscow – The Kremlin on Friday called for an inquiry into allegations of widespread abuse of homosexuals in southern Russia's Chechnya region.
Although the Kremlin does not have any information corroborating the claims, which originated in the media, they should nevertheless be checked, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state media.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had on Thursday joined a chorus of international powers calling for an investigation into the claims, which were made earlier this month by Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
The newspaper reported that over 100 gay men had been abducted by state authorities in the predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, alleging that at least three of those abducted had been killed.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesman, Alvi Karimov, responded in comments carried by the Interfax news agency: "It is impossible to detain and oppress that which simply does not exist in the republic."
Russia provoked international controversy in 2013 when it outlawed any act that could be construed as public promotion of homosexuality.