GROZNY, Russia — Authorities in Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya are claiming that a woman removed against her will from a shelter for domestic abuse victims was taken by police in order “to prevent her abduction” by local human rights activists.
Khalimat Taramova, the daughter of a close associate of Chechnya’s authoritarian leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was forcibly taken by police on June 10 from the shelter in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s neighboring region of Daghestan.
Authorities promptly returned Taramova to her native Chechnya, where rights activists warn she is at risk of becoming a victim of a so-called “honor killing.”
In a video published online earlier last week by rights activists, Taramova said she’d fled her home in Chechnya due to “regular beatings and threats” she received there.
In an effort to prevent police from searching for her, she’d pleaded in the video for authorities not to add her to Chechnya’s missing persons list.
Activists with Russia’s LGBT Network said Taramova fled her home because she was being intimidated for her sexual orientation.
Rights defenders in Daghestan told RFE/RL that Taramova had been staying at the shelter with her girlfriend, whom the LGBT Network identified as Anna Manylova.