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Homosexuals accused of terrorism

Ramzan Kadyrov says there are no gay men in Téténia. AFP

The Chechen government in Russia has launched a terrorist investigation into two gay men who fled the country last year but were arrested near Moscow last week and taken back to Chechnya.

The human rights organization assisted the men in fleeing Chechnya, which has reported on the prisons and torture of homosexuals since the year 2017, say they do not know exactly what the men have been accused of, but that one of them has previously interrogated for using symbols related to the gay community on an online forum.

Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isayev, 20 and 17 years old, were in the city Nizhny Novgorod when they were taken away. One of the men called the Russian LGBT organization’s emergency number and said that their employee had heard screams. A lawyer who visited the apartment shortly afterwards says that there were clear signs of a fight.

Some time later, the men were detained in Chechnya, although their exact location was not disclosed and lawyers were denied a chance to see them.

A spokesman for the Russian LGBT organization said he feared for human safety, but there were examples of that homosexuals had disappeared or died after being deported to Chechnya. The organization did not know about the investigation against the men until it was reported in the media that they were suspected of being connected to terrorism.

Assistant Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, says the men have confessed to helping an illegal group of weapons, but this can involve up to 15 years imprisonment.

Magamadov and Isayev fled Chechnya after they were arrested and tortured for setting up a forum on Telegram, and later videos of them apologizing.

The Russian LGBT organization has helped 200 people flee the country that the campaign against homosexuals began. The government denies that such a campaign is taking place and Kadyrov even goes so far as to say that there are no homosexuals in Chechnya.

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