Aide to republic’s leader Ramazan Kadyrov says men confessed to helping illegal armed group

Chechnya has opened a terrorism investigation into two gay men who fled the region last year but were arrested near Moscow last week and forcibly returned.

The rights group that helped the men escape Chechnya, an autonomous Russian republic where the torture, detentions and killings of gay men have been reported since 2017, said the pair were being persecuted because of their sexuality.

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