It has been reported that journalists have unearthed evidence of four prisons, for gay men, in Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta, a respected newspaper in Chechnya, has previously reported that gay men were being held in two concentration camp-style prisons in the villages of Argun and Tsotsi-Yurt. However, it now appears as if there are at least six prisons in this region, which are holding people because of their sexual orientation.

The newspaper has further reported that the prisoners are only released once police officials receive a bribe from their respective family members. Furthermore, it reports, that the men are suffering torture within the jail.

It comes after Britian’s deputy foreign secretary revealed a threat from Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in which he warned that he would eliminate the gay community within the country by the start of Ramadan on the 26th of May. It has been reported that he has carried out other violent campaigns in the past.

The allegations have received support from several human rights groups, which has prompted the United Nations’ Head Commissioner for Human Rights to call on the Kremlin to launch an investigation as the Chechen republic is a federal subject of Russia. Nevertheless, a spokesperson for Vladimir Putin has said that the Russian President has no reason to believe that the attacks are genuine.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has accused international organisations of conducting “a massive information attack using the most unworthy methods, reality is distorted, attempts are being made to blacken our society, lifestyle, traditions and customs”.