Urgent Action: Two Family Members Disappeared in Chechnya (Russian Federation: UA 20.21)

February 18, 2021

On 4 February, 20-year-old Salekh Magamadov and 17-year-old Ismail Isaev were abducted by police in Central Russia and taken to Chechnya. They had fled Chechnya in 2020, following their arbitrary detention and reported torture for exercising their right to freedom of expression, and fearing further reprisals, including in connection with their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. They are victims of enforced disappearance, and their physical and mental integrity and their lives are at risk.



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Igor Viktorovich Krasnov
Prosecutor General
Prosecutor General’s Office
Ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 15a
Moscow GSP-3, 125993, Russian Federation
Fax: +7 (495) 987-58-41
Twitter: @Genproc
Online form: https://bit.ly/3dpucBX
Ambassador Anatoly Antonov
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 298 5700 I Fax: 202 298 5735
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @RusEmbUSA
Facebook: @RusEmbUSA
Instagram: @RusEmbUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Prosecutor General,

I am gravely concerned about the enforced disappearance of Salekh Magamadov, 20, and Ismail Isaev, 17. According to the Russian LGBT Network, they were apprehended by police at a flat in Nizhnii Novgorod, in an abduction-style operation, on 4 February 2020 and forcibly transferred to Gudermes, Chechnya. Their lawyer was denied access to his clients and any information on the relevant criminal proceedings. They were unlawfully questioned without their lawyer or family members’ presence, despite one of them being a minor, then nominally released and immediately arrested and taken away, first to the village of Sernovodskoe and then to an unknown location. The reason for their arrest, their fate and whereabouts remain unknown to their lawyers and family members. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and their lives may be at risk.

Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev had already suffered unlawful deprivation of liberty and torture and other ill-treatment at the hands of the Chechen authorities. On 30 March 2020, they were arbitrarily detained by the Chechen police and unlawfully held prisoners until May, for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

I urge you to take immediate steps to establish and disclose the whereabouts of Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isaev, and ensure they are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated; ensure that they are immediately released unless promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offense, in which case they should have an immediate and unimpeded access to a lawyer of their choice; and ensure their human rights are fully respected, in accordance with Russia’s obligations under international law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Yours sincerely,