Magamadov and Isaev, detained in Nizhny Novgorod, remain in custody in SIZO No. 2 in the city of Grozny. Earlier they were brought to Chechnya as witnesses, now they are accused of complicity with illegal armed groups.
24 February 2021
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On February 20, in the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic, an appeal session was held on the election of a preventive measure against Ismail Isaev and Salekh Magamadov.  

Since February 7, they have been accused of aiding illegal armed groups (Illegal Armed Formations) by providing food.  The case is being considered under article 208, part 2, they face up to 15 years in prison. The investigation, however, did not provide objective evidence of the guilt of Ismail Isaev and Salekh Magamadov. The detainees themselves told the lawyer that they had to sign statements and testimonies under threats and pressure.

On February 8, the European Court of Human Rights, following Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, ordered Russia to explain the reasons for the detention of Magamadov and Isaev, to admit independent lawyers, medical workers, and their next of kin to them. 

Despite the ruling of the Court, the lawyers were never allowed to the temporary detention center in Urus-Martan.  To all attempts by the defenders to get to their clients, the police officers reported that Magamadov and Isaev had abandoned all defenders in advance, which is contrary to Article 52 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation.

Sayputy Isaev, the father of Magamadov and Isaev, told the Russian LGBT Network that police officers pressured him, blackmailed him with the life of his sons and that they would dishonor him in Chechnya by showing incriminating facts on the local Grozny TV channel.  The police officers told Sayputy Isaev that they “will jail them anyway.”  

Sayputy Isaev told human rights defenders that the police officers hit him several times in the kidney area and threatened him that they would put Magamadov and Isayev in a “bad jail”, from where they would not come out alive unless Sayputy gives up his lawyer and signs a statement for the minor son. Surely, they did not allow Sayputy Isaev to read the statement.

Despite the ECHR ruling on the application of urgent measures, on February 9, in the absence of lawyers from the Russian LGBT Network and the parents, the Urus-Martan court chose a measure of restraint in the form of two-month placement in custody in SIZO No. 2 (pre-trial detention center) in Grozny for Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev. Neither the lawyers nor the parents of the detainees, one of whom is a minor, were notified about the trial.  

One of the lawyers of the Russian LGBT Network was able to find out about the availability of a court decision only in the court office, but he was unable to obtain a copy of the court decision.  Despite this fact, as well as the actual impossibility to get acquainted with the materials of the criminal case, the lawyers of the Russian LGBT Network filed an appeal, where they insisted that not only the detention itself was illegal, but all investigative actions concerning their clients had no legal force since they were carried out in the absence of the lawyers under the agreement.

On February 20, the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic considered the appeal and upheld the decision of the first judicial instance against Salekh Magamadov.  Concerning Ismail Isaev, the Supreme Court formally canceled the ruling of the first judicial instance but left the same measure of restraint in the form of detention.

Veronika Lapina, human rights activist, Russian LGBT Network, “At the moment, we can assert that Russia has not fulfilled its obligations, at least in terms of admitting independent lawyers and doctors to Salekh and Ismail: we have no information that independent doctors actually examined Salekh and Ismail.  The carousel of the departments, which the Chechen police officers arranged for us, can in no way be considered the admission of independent lawyers.  Also, we do not know anything about the legal grounds for the detention of Salekh and Ismail in Nizhny Novgorod.  

The officers of the Nizhny Novgorod police sent a written confirmation to Alexander Nemov that the detention was carried out by police officers from Gudermes, but the reasons for the detention in this format are not clear to us. The boys' father, Mr. Isaev, told me that he had seen marks of plastic handcuffs on Salekh and Ismail's wrists and that their passports had been taken away.  And even though the procedure for bringing witnesses exists and is regulated by Article 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code, what happened to Ismail and Salekh in Nizhny Novgorod is, at the very least, a strange format for applying this procedure in practice.”