Russian law enforcement authorities detained gay two men who had escaped torture and abuse in the Chechen Republic, then handed them over to Chechen officials for return to their home region. The Russian LGBT Network reported they helped Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isayev flee the 'gay purge' in June of last year. Chechen authorities had allegedly arrested and tortured the two men for their LGBTQ+ activism and running an opposition channel on Telegram. Prior to their escape, the pair were forced to record a deeply disturbing video apology at the hands of Chechen authorities. This week, Russian authorities detained them.
Witnesses reported men in black SWAT-type uniforms at the apartment of Magamadov and Isayev on Thursday. A call was placed from the residence to David Isteev, the emergency assistance coordinator at the Russian LGBT Network, who reported hearing screaming in the background. Their apartment showed signs of a scuffle when Alexander Nemov, the pair's attorney, arrived at the residence 30 minutes later.
Police in their area initially denied any knowledge of the raid or detention. After Nemov submitted a formal claim, though, they admitted Magamadov and Isayev had been detained by local law enforcement officials, and then later handed over to Chechen police for return to Gudermes in the Chechen Republic.
"In Chechen society, there is no such thing as nontraditional orientation: our people have for millennia lived by different rules prescribed by God Almighty and dictated by the moral and ethical norms of inter-personal relations," Kadyrov said at the time. "We have never had them among us Chechens."