A preliminary investigation has been under way for a month, led by the Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) headed by Igor Sobol, the deputy head of the Office of Investigations of the ICR in the North Caucasian Federal District. Chechnya is a semi-autonomous Russian republic.
Some policemen secretly helped the investigation by handing over lists of people illegally detained in one of the secret prisons of Chechnya.
Chechen security forces spoke with investigators only under threat.
The chief policeman of Grozny not only denied that gays were being persecuted, but also “suddenly declared his tolerance for homosexuals: ‘Nobody will touch them now, even if parades are held in the center of Grozny,’ ” he said.
Relatives of the victims were forced to sign statements that the victims had left Chechnya at the end of February to work in Moscow.
Investigators visited an alleged gay prison/death camp in Argun, outside the Chechen capital of Grozny. The structure was just as survivors had testified. However, the barracks where, according to their testimony, illegally detained gays and drug addicts were detained, now was buried under construction debris up to the roof.
Many Chechen officials stated that they had become ill, so they were unavailable for interrogation.