A court ruled this week that it was legal for Russian police to kidnap two gay men who escaped Chechnya after facing persecution under its anti-LGBTQ+ crackdown. Earlier this month, teen brothers Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isayev were abducted from a safe house in the western Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod and returned to the semi-autonomous republic of Chechnya, where over 200 people have been arrested, beaten, and tortured since 2017 under suspicion of being LGBTQ+. The two brothers had been living in Russia since last year when they fled Chechya with the help of the Russia LGBT Network, a local advocacy group. Magamadov and Isayev are reportedly being held in a detainment center in the Chechen city of Urus-Martan without access to legal counsel. Their father noted seeing handcuff marks on the brothers’ wrists when he was finally allowed visitation, as LGBTQ+ advocacy groups noted in a statement.
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