RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
The girlfriend of a Chechen woman who was taken to her native Chechnya by force after police in neighboring Daghestan raided a shelter for victims of domestic violence earlier this month has asked Russian lawmaker Oksana Pushkina to investigate the situation.
Anna Manylova said in a video statement issued on Instagram late on June 21 that she is ready to provide Pushkina with all of the necessary evidence proving that her girlfriend, Khalima Taramova, is being held in Chechnya against her will.
The 22-year-old Taramova fled Chechnya and settled in neighboring Daghestan in early June. She said at the time in a video statement that she left home "to avoid constant beatings and humiliation."
Russia's LGBT network said Taramova sought refuge as she was subjected to intimidation because of her sexual orientation.
In turn, Chechen officials have accused human rights activists in Daghestan of attempting to kidnap Taramova, who is the daughter of Ayub Taramov -- a former top official in Chechnya and a close associate of the authoritarian Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov.
"I ask you not to trust Chechen media and local human rights officials and I ask you to conduct your own investigation, to meet Khalimat personally, so that she understands that after speaking to you she will be safe," Manylova said in her June 21 video statement addressed to Pushkina.
Kadyrov, who has ruled Chechnya since 2007, is frequently accused by Russian and international watchdogs of overseeing grave rights abuses that include abductions, torture, and extrajudicial killings.
Chechnya was the site of a so-called "gay purge" in 2017 in which dozens of homosexual men say they were abducted and tortured by Chechen authorities.
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