Support The Moscow Times!

Chechen Woman Fleeing Family’s ‘Death Threats’ Leaves Russia, Official Says

Liya Zaurbekova. Social media

A young woman who previously said she fled domestic violence in her native republic of Chechnya has left Russia, a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council said Friday.

Liya Zaurbekova, 19, said her family physically and psychologically abused her, according to the human rights group Maram. Earlier this week she fled to Moscow, but after noticing her father outside the apartment where she was staying on Thursday, she called the police.

Zaurbekova was taken to a police station in the Russian capital, after which a group of her relatives surrounded the building and reportedly demanded that she be handed over to them.

“I’m scared of leaving the police station because if they [my family members] grab me in front of officers, then I don’t know what they could do,” Zaurbekova said in a video published by Marem.

On Friday, Alexander Ionov, a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council, told journalists that the young woman fled the country. He did not say what role he played in Zaurbekova’s departure from Russia.

“All that remains is to wait for her official confirmation,” Ionov was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency. He also denied that Zaurbekova faced any death threats.

Later on Friday, the young woman’s lawyer Natalia Tikhonova confirmed that her client “is safe outside Russia.”

Adam Delimkhanov, a Russian federal lawmaker from Chechnya and a close ally of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, had previously said he would take efforts to find Zaurbrekova “under his personal control,” according to a top Chechen official.

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

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more