'100 arrested and three dead' amid homosexuality crackdown in Chechnya
Police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have reportedly rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and at least three have been killed, a respected newspaper says.
Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government.
Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesman denied the report and suggested there are no homosexuals in the Muslim-majority region.
Ali Karimov said, according to the state news agency RIA Novosti, that it is "impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic".
Mr Kadyrov, who is backed by the Kremlin, has been widely accused of extensive human rights violations.
He has brought Islam to the fore of Chechnya's daily life, including opening what is called Europe's biggest mosque.