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News

Gay man detained at Moscow airport on Chechnya’s request, handed over to security services and taken to an unknown location

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28-year-old Idris Arsamikov, a gay man from Chechnya, who was detained at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport late on February 15, has been taken to an unknown location, according to human rights project Crisis Group NC SOS. The group assumes that he will be taken to Chechnya where he may face torture and death.

A lawyer who arrived at the detention site was not allowed to see Idris until the “initiators” of his arrest – representatives of the Chechen Republic – arrived. According to Crisis Group NC SOS, an officer by the name of Khamzaev, the head of the police of Chechnya’s Shelkovsky district, who issued Arsamikov’s all-points bulletin, had tortured him with electric shocks during a prior arrest in Chechnya in order to get him to admit he was gay. Arsamikov was allowed to write a complaint against the Chechen security forces about the torture he endured, but his lawyer was barred from being present despite the warrant, as the duty officer present said he was “tired.”

The Chechen security services arrived soon after Arsamikov’s arrest and took the man to an unknown location without providing any paperwork on Arsamikov’s status to the local police or his lawyer. Crisis Group NC SOS assumes that he will be taken to Chechnya’s Shelkovsky district police station, where he was tortured earlier.

Arsamikov was detained for the first time in the summer of 2018 near Grozny, Chechnya’s capital. He was held in a basement and tortured, as law enforcement officials had become aware of his sexual relationship with a man. Following the incident, Crisis Group SK SOS helped him escape and emigrate to the Netherlands.

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