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Chechen Domestic Violence Victim Faces ‘Killing’ After Police Raid Women’s Shelter – Reports

Activists have accused Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov of of enforcing a strict “code of virtue” for women. Anton Kardashov / Moskva News Agency

A Chechen domestic violence victim's life is at risk after police returned her to her home region after raiding the women’s shelter in neighboring Dagestan where she had fled, media reported Friday.

Khalimat Taramova said divulging her whereabouts would “endanger” her life after she escaped “regular beatings and threats” by her family, according to a video shared by the Baza Telegram news channel that she said she filmed Sunday. 

But Dagestan-based journalist and rights activist Svetlana Anokhina said Thursday that local and Chechen law enforcement officers forced their way into the women’s shelter in Makhachkala where Taramova was hiding and detained her.

“She faces the most brutal punishment, she could be killed,” Anokhina told the Mediazona news website.

Taramova had sent the June 6 video in which she asks not to reveal her whereabouts directly to Dagestani police, Anokhina told Mediazona.

Taramova faced threats and beatings at home because of her sexual orientation, the Meduza news website reported, citing the Russian LGBT Network rights group.

The LGBT Network told the independent Dozhd broadcaster Friday that Taramova has been forcibly returned to Chechnya with her friend, Anna Maylova.

While Maylova has since been released and activists are able to contact her, Taramova's whereabouts remain unknown, the group added.

Chechen opposition social media channels meanwhile reported that she is allegedly the daughter of senior Chechen official Ayub Taramov.

“Kadyrov’s henchmen wouldn’t travel to another region because of an ordinary girl,” the opposition outlet 1Adat said, referring to Chechnya's pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Fellow activists said that Dagestani police inspected Anokhina for drugs and alcohol late Thursday and are filing misdemeanor charges against her and a volunteer for refusing to obey police orders. She faces up to 15 days of administrative arrest and up to 120 hours of compulsory labor.

Kadyrov has long sought to impose conservative Islamic values in the majority Muslim republic of Chechnya. Activists have accused him of enforcing a strict “code of virtue” for women and committing human rights abuses including purges of LGBT people.

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