The following is a report from the Russian LGBT Network, on the abduction of two gay men, Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev. The men were arrested in Russia, having fled there, and brought back to Chechnya, where they were refused legal representation from February 4th. The report continues with events up to February 7th, and the Network believes they are in ‘mortal danger’:
“Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev, arrested in Nizhniy Novgorod, are in Chechnya now. After being questioned, they were released, only to be detained again. A deputy Minister of Interior of Chechnya arrived on [site] to pressure the father to refuse legal services.
On February 4, law enforcement authorities arrested Magamadov and Isaev in Nizhniy Novgorod. Chechen law enforcement took part in the arrest.
LGBT Network’s attorney, Alexander Nemov, identified that the law enforcement is taking the two young men to Gudermes, Chechen Republic. The attorney arrived at Gudermes the next day, February 5. The law enforcement in the Gudermes police precinct continuously failed to explain the reasons for Magamadov and Isaev’s detention and identify their location.
On February 6, at approximately 3 pm, the law enforcement brought Magamadov and Isaev to the police precinct in the Gudermes region. The two men looked tired and scared; throughout the previous 48 hours, the law enforcement intimidated them and pressured them to refuse legal services.
Magamadov and Isaev appeared at the police precinct immediately after Isaev’s mother, as Isaev is a minor, submitted a claim concerning a minor’s abduction.
On February 6, at approximately 8 pm, the police officers finalized the interrogation of Magamadov and Isaev. During the interrogation, the law enforcement didn’t grant Nemov any access to his clients.
The interrogation itself was nominal, as the police officer only asked Magamadov and Isaev about meeting several random people. After that questioning, the law enforcement released the custody of Isaev and Magamadov.
However, when exiting the police precinct in Gudermes, another batch of law enforcement officers detained Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev. Without giving any explanations to the attorney, the police officers pushed Magamadov and Isaev into the car and drove them to the Sernovodskoe village, Chechen Republic. Alexander Nemov followed them.
By 23:00, the police brought the detainees to the police precinct in the Sernovodsky District. When Alexander Nemov arrived there, a couple of minutes after, he was not allowed into the precinct to see the detainees. Nemov filed complaints concerning the above mentioned violations on-site, awaiting their consideration. At the same time, a deputy Minister of Interior of Chechnya arrived on-site, who, together with the law enforcement officers, pressured and threatened the detainees’ father to refuse Nemov’s legal services.
In July 2020, the Russian LGBT Network assisted Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev in fleeing the Chehcen Republic.
UPDATE (On February 7, 01:54 PM)
Another lawyer of the Russian LGBT Network – Mark Alexeev – has just arrived at the police precinct in Sernovodskoye district, Chechen Republic. The authorities do not allow Alexeev to see his clients, saying that it is the weekend, the head of the police precinct is away.
Alexeev was able to reach the deputy [head] of the police precinct, Mr. Musaev. Mr. Musaev confirmed that the Magamadov and Isaev are at the disposition of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic, yet failed to explain the reasons behind the detention and refrained from offering any legal documentation, justifying the arrest. Mr. Musaev also was unable to justify the reasoning behind not allowing Mr. Alexeev to the precinct.
Thus, the law enforcement fails to provide the attorney the access to his clients. The current location of Magamadov and Isaev is unknown; the law enforcement fails to collaborate and fails to accept the attorney’s complaints. The police hotline 112 redirects Mr. Alexeev’s calls to the Ministry of Interior’s landline, in the Sernovodskii region.
At this moment, Alexeev is filing a complaint concerning the failure to accept a motion via the 112 hotline. He is on his way to the Investigative Department in Grozny to receive a confirmation that Magamadov and Isaev are at the Investigative Committee’s disposition.”