Men Shown as Proof of Life by Officials Were Actually Missing Chechens’ Brothers

Moskalkova was shown two people claimed to be dead by Novaya Gazeta, Shamkhan Yusupov and Makhmu Muskiyev, by local officials.

An official statement on the Chechen government’s website quoted Moskalkova as saying that she had “verified all data” demonstrating that the men were alive. But according to Memorial the two men were in fact the brothers of the two missing men, whose fates remain unknown.

Memorial said that Chechen law enforcement officials threatened the family members of 27 men listed as missing if they confirmed the disappearances to Moskalkova.

It also questioned the authenticity of two graves of people who described as having died from natural causes visited by Moskalkova’s delegation.

However, the NGO disputed Novaya Gazeta investigative report’s claim that the people were killed as part of an anti-gay clampdown, describing them as targets of an anti-terror sweep. “Everyone on this list was suspected of being part of illegal armed groups or links to them,” the statement said.