( CNN) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has raised reports of the detention and abuse of dozens of lesbian men in Chechnya with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging the leader to protect the rights of minorities across the country.

The first report on the issue was published on April 1 by the major Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which claimed that more than 100 men had been detained or disappeared in Chechnya on mistrust of being lesbian, and that some of them had been killed.

A number of witness and victims dedicated CNN horrific accounts of torture, went on to say that hundreds of lesbian humen were being rounded up by authorities and held in appalling conditions in least three detention centers.

Who are Putin's friends?