ADDED ON: 12/23/2021

Brothers returned to Chechnya begin hunger strike

12/22/2021 | Washington Blade

Two brothers from Chechnya who Russia returned to their homeland from which they had fled have reportedly begun a hunger strike. The Russian LGBT Network in a press release notes lawyers from the Crisis Group “North Caucasus SOS” who represent Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev on Tuesday “declared the beginning of a hunger strike” after a judge denied their request to move their case from Achknoy-Martan, a locality in Chechnya’s Achkhoy-Martanovsky District, to another court in the semi-autonomous Russian republic. Chechen authorities in April 2020 arrested Magamadov and Isaev after they made a series of posts on Osal Nakh 95, a Telegram channel used by opponents of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Chechen authorities reportedly forced the brothers to make “apology videos” after they were tortured. The Russian LGBT Network helped Magamadov and Isaev flee Chechnya after their release. Police in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod on Feb. 4 arrested the brothers and transferred them to the custody of Chechen authorities. The Russian LGBT Network says Magamadov and Isaev have been held in a prison in Grozny, the Chechen capital, for “more than 10 months.” The brothers’ lawyer has said Magmadov and Isaev have been tortured.

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