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10 July 2020, 11:30

Beatings of Makhachkala woman show investigators' indifference to domestic violence

The ex-husband of Gullya Kazanbieva, a resident of Makhachkala, used to brutally beat her up even after a divorce, but investigators have qualified domestic violence under a too lenient article. The woman fears for its life; however, complaints submitted to the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) are ignored, advocates assert.

Gullya Kazanbieva, a Makhachkala resident, told the "Novaya Gazeta" newspaper that her ex-husband had repeatedly beaten her up. For the first time, she ran away from him in the spring of 2015. However, in punishment for this, her husband beat Gullya up with sticks all night. Once he pushed her into a ravine and threw stones at her for her crossing the road in a wrong place, the woman is quoted in the July 9 newspaper's article entitled "Now I'll be painfully killing you".

In 2018, Gullya achieved a divorce, but the ex-husband began persecuting her and threatening her family, while law enforcers advised to take complaints back, the newspaper reports.

In September 2019, Gullya was hospitalized in Makhachkala with a broken upper jaw, closed craniocerebral trauma, concussion, fracture of the forearm, and numerous bruises on the face and body.

A month and a half later, investigators opened a criminal case under the article "intentional infliction of moderate gravity health harm", the maximum sanction of which provides for up to three years in prison.

Dagestani advocates refused to take up the Gullya's case; therefore, she turned for help to the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial". "In this case, there is some stubborn reluctance of the investigator to face the truth and state: 'A broken jaw is not moderate health harm.' This is grievous harm to her health," Marina Agaltsova, a lawyer at the HRC has explained, adding that the re-qualification of the crime to a more serious article – an intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm – provides for a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The accused husband himself is under house arrest; however, according to Gullya, he continues threatening her. Nadezhda Borodkina, a HRC's advocate, representing Gullya's interests, lodged several complaints to the ICRF, and also intends to petition to the court about the protection of the victim; however, according to her story, they usually rejected petitions in such cases.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 10, 2020 at 01:30 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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