The LGBT Network rights group, on Saturday, said that two gay men, who were seized near Moscow this week and returned to their native Chechnya, face 'mortal danger'. According to a report in AFP, the rights group helped the two Chechen men, identified as Salekh Magamadov and Ismail Isayev, flee their native place and reach Nizhny Novgorod east of Moscow in June last year. They were reportedly torture by Chechen special police.

The two men were detained for unknown reasons in Nizhny Novgorod on Thursday and have been sent back to the North Caucasus region, the group said in a statement.

LGBT Network spokesperson Tim Bestsvet said the men were detained by the FSB domestic intelligence agency and had arrived at a police station in Chechen town of Gudermes on Saturday.

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"They are tired and frightened," he told AFP on Saturday.

"All this time they were being pressured to refuse a lawyer," Bestsvet said, adding that a lawyer with the LGBT Network was in Gudermes trying to get access to the men.

"There have been cases when relatives brought back to Chechnya people that we had evacuated and then these people would die or, we can say, were probably murdered," Bestsvet said, adding that Magamadov and Isayev faced "mortal danger".

While Magamadov is older than 18, Bestsvet said that because Isayev is 17 he can only refuse legal representation via his parents.

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He added that Isayev's father was brought to the police station on Saturday and was facing pressure to refuse to let his son have an attorney.

Magamadov and Isayev were arrested and tortured by Chechen special police in April 2020, officially for running an opposition Telegram channel, but "initially because of their sexual orientation," said Bestsvet.