An entrance to Grozny. Photo: REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (RUSSIA)

06 February 2019, 19:09

"Novaya Gazeta": Bekkhan Yusupov released because of his advocate's visit to Grozny

Bekkhan Yusupov, whose detention in Chechnya had been reported by the "Russian LGBT Network", was to return to France by January 11, but was released only after his advocate arrived in Grozny on January 31.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 1, on the air of Chechen TV, Bekkhan Yusupov announced that he had been detained because of storing rusty rounds to make a key ring. He refuted the version that he had been detained in connection with his suspected homosexuality and accused the "Novaya Gazeta" of slander.

Bekkhan Yusupov was granted asylum in France and came to his homeland to visit his relatives. He stopped contacting his friends and they found out that he was being kept together with other people suspected of homosexuality, the "Novaya Gazeta" reported.

According to the newspaper, on January 27, a resident of Chechnya, detained on suspicion of homosexual orientation, said he had seen Bekkhan Yusupov among the detainees.

Friends and relatives of Bekkhan Yusupov appealed to the "Russian LGBT Network", and rights defenders "decided to test the new algorithm of defence."

Advocate Alexander Karavaev was hired to defend the interests of Bekkhan Yusupov. By law, an advocate can stop his work only if a client himself waives the advocate's services. Meanwhile, for that, a defendant must be alive and an advocate must have a possibility to visit him. Therefore, Chechen law enforcers had to release Bekkhan Yusupov to force him to refuse his advocate, the author of the article believes.

After that, Bekkhan Yusupov contacted his friends in France and informed them that he had been released and that "the rounds had been seized from him."

Let us remind you that according to the "Russian LGBT Network", a new wave of persecution followed after the detention of an administrator of a group in the social network "VKontakte" in December. The group united gay men living in the republics of Northern Caucasus.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 6, 2019 at 02:22 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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