(EDGE) The Russian newspaper that first broke the story that Chechen authorities were rounding up men suspected of being gay and torturing them is now reporting that at least 27 victims, many believed to be gay, were secretly detained and executed without being formerly charged.
Citing two anonymous sources, Novaya Gazette reported Sunday that men were gathered in December 2016 and executed on January 26, according to the Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. The report states victims were never formally arrested or charged with anything and officials never filled out paperwork on them before being killed.
One of Novaya Gazette's sources reportedly comes from the Interior Ministry, which provided the newspaper with the names of the victims. Journalists were unable to locate the 27 people listed, the RFERL writes.
"All attempts to learn anything about these people were met with incredible fear from everyone we questioned," the newspaper reportedly wrote.
Citing Novaya Gazette's report, the International Business Times also covered the story, stating the date the victims were allegedly executed was January 25.
"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.
Chechen officials have denied the allegations.
An official for the Russian LGBT Network spoke with the IBTimes regarding the alleged killings.
"As far as we know, the information in the Novaya Gazeta regarding 27 people being killed is true," they said. "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."
Officials have denied targeting and abusing gay men.
Novaya Gazetta first broke the news in April that Chechen officials were rounding up men suspected of being gay.
Last week the Russian LGBT Network and All Out officials said the southern Russian republic started arrested gay men again.