MOSCOW: One summer time night final yr, sisters Krestina, Angelina and Maria Khachaturyan went into the room where their fifty seven-year-vintage father Mikhail became drowsing and attacked him with pepper spray, a knife and a hammer.

The sisters at the moment are in trial for his murder, however thousands of humans have come out in support of them, pronouncing the sisters were protecting themselves from an abusive father after being failed by way of a Russian felony system that, critics say, turns a blind eye to domestic abuse.

The outpouring of assist – over 230,000 humans signed a petition asking to loose the sisters from crook costs – turned into in component due to the fact many ladies trust until the machine is modified, everybody may want to end up of their same scenario.

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“I experience solidarity with the sisters,” stated Anna Sinyatkina, a translator who was in a Moscow nightclub closing week while about 200 people, mostly young women, amassed for a poetry night in support of the sisters. “I experience that like them i can at any moment be installed a scenario when there could be no one however me to defend my lifestyles, and i received’t get safety or a truthful trial afterwards.”

After killing their father in their Moscow rental at the night time of July 27, the Khachaturyan sisters, now aged 18, 19, and 20, called the police.

initially, they stated they killed their father in self-defence while he become attacking them.

Years of abuse later, the investigation located that become now not true, however that they have been problem to years of abuse by their father, which include systematic beatings and violent sexual abuse, in step with investigators’ files visible by using Reuters.

The case has emerged at a time when many Russians consider protections for women abused inside the domestic are being weakened.

the ecu court docket of Human Rights dominated on Tuesday Russia did not shield every other sufferer of home violence – a woman, who became assaulted, abducted and stalked by way of her former accomplice.

In 2017 Russia decriminalized a few styles of domestic violence. Underneath the brand new regulations, the maximum punishment for a person who beats a member of their circle of relatives, causing bleeding or bruising, is a first-class, as long as they do no longer repeat the offence extra than as soon as a yr.

The sisters’ lawyer, Alexei Parshin, said they had been no longer traumatic anonymity as victims of sexual abuse due to the fact the allegations about abuse had been already inside the public domain.

The legal professional said the sisters, on the time of the killing, had been struggling submit-stressful stress disease. He stated they taken into consideration strolling away however feared his retribution in the event that they have been caught.

Their mother and father have been separated.

Parshin said the ladies’ neighbours went to the police numerous times to document his violence towards the sisters, however no criminal prosecution was ever brought in opposition to him.

Moscow police and Russia’s Investigative Committee did no longer at once reply to Reuters request for feedback.

“The situation wherein the girls located themselves living with a father for a rapist is familiar and scary,” Alyona Popova, a lawyer and organiser of the petition informed Reuters. “Many humans, now not handiest ladies, but also men inside the Russian Federation realise that this is not an remoted case.”

On July 6, activists staged protests in a square within the centre of Moscow, retaining posters with the tag “I/we're the Khachaturyan sisters”.

“In any civilised united states of america, these women would be in a psychotherapy hospital… however no longer in prison, no manner,” said one of the protesters, Zara Mkhitaryan.

nearby there were counter-protesters. A handful of fellows status with posters that read “Killers have no gender” and “guys’s country” – the name of a nationalist motion whose members agree with men have to dominate society.