Chechnya Detains Kidnapped Gay Men’s Relatives – Rights Group

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03/23/2021

Chechen authorities have detained dozens of relatives of two gay men who were forcibly returned to the southern Russian region to face terrorism charges, a rights group told the independent Dozhd broadcaster Wednesday. The Moscow-based LGBT Network rights group said Salekh Magamadov, 20, and Ismail Isayev, 18, fled Chechnya last year but were arrested and returned in February on accusations of aiding an illegal armed group. The brothers face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the charges that rights activists call fabricated. The LGBT Network told Dozhd that 20 of Magamadov and Isayev’s relatives were held in an unknown location for two hours Tuesday as police sought the whereabouts of the men’s parents. Magamadov and Isayev’s parents fled the republic of Chechnya after police forced their father to waive his right to counsel, Dozhd reported. The men’s mother Zara Magamadova had filmed an appeal to Russia’s human rights commissioner last week seeking her sons’ release and accusing the authorities of “fabricating” the legal case against them.

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