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Russian Police Detain Chechen Woman Fleeing Domestic Violence

Selima Ismailova marem_group_ / Instagram

A young Chechen woman has been detained at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport after attempting to flee from her abusive family in Russia, the human rights project Marem reported on Monday.

Selima Ismailova, 19, fled her home region of Chechnya, a majority-Muslim republic in Russia’s North Caucasus, in March to escape regular beatings and death threats from her father.

Police at Vnukovo Airport detained Ismailova on suspicion of stealing 85,000 rubles ($1,020) from a family member, Marem said.

She had been attempting to fly to Germany, where she and her family had lived for several years.

Police now intend to hand Ismailova over to Chechen police, Marem cited Sofya Rusova, a lawyer from Russia’s Center for the Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence, as saying.

Russian human rights groups have regularly highlighted the issue of domestic abuse against women in the conservative North Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan.

Last year, Russian border guards barred four young sisters — Khadizhat Khizrieva, Patimat Khizrieva, Aminat Gazimagomedova and Patimat Magomedova — from crossing into Georgia in an attempt to escape their abusive home environment in the republic of Dagestan. 

Human rights activists said the sisters’ relatives held positions of power in Dagestan and tried to facilitate their return. They eventually successfully fled to Georgia.

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