Chechen girl, 19, runs away from her family and takes refuge in Moscow only to be found

Another Chechen woman runs away from her family being unable to withstand violence

Liya Zaurbekova, a young woman who escaped from her family in Chechnya and took refuge from her relatives in the police department in Moscow, left Russia, the woman's lawyer Natalia Tikhonova said adding that she could not disclose any other details for her client's safety.

Adam Delimkhanov, an associate of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, believes that Zaurbekova will be returned to her family in the republic. In turn, Alexander Ionov, a member of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia, who reported her escape, urged not to exaggerate the degree of the threat for the Chechen woman who left her home due to mental and physical violence.

Adam Delimkhanov, Kadyrov's adviser and State Duma deputy, believes that Liya Zaurbekova was misled after she found herself under someone's influence. The girl is being manipulated, Delimkhanov believes.

There is no misunderstanding between the 19-year-old woman and her relatives, Delimkhanov assured. Kadyrov's associate took the situation under personal control and said that in the near future he would meet with the relatives of the 19-year-old Chechen woman.

Why Zaurbekova escaped from Chechnya

Zaurbekova fled from Chechnya to Moscow on May 13. The Marem crisis group reported that the family was putting physical and psychological pressure on Zaurbekova on a daily basis. The girl feared for her life, so she decided to leave her hometown. She left a note, in which she said that she was leaving home of her own free will. She also asked to leave her alone.

On the morning of Thursday, May 16, Zaurbekova saw her father in Moscow as she was leaving the place where she was staying. She called the police, and law enforcement officers took her to the police station on Kashirskoe Highway. It turned out that the girl's parents put her on the wanted list as a minor, although the girl was already 19 years old. According to Zaurbekova, the police helped her father find her. It was also said that law enforcement officers used facial recognition cameras during search operations.

Zaurbekova spent several hours in the police station. About ten men, all believed to be relatives of the fugitive woman, gathered near the entrance to the police station. The woman recorded a video in which she said that her relatives could harm her.

"There are at least ten people near the police station. When we were leaving for the first time, they grabbed me right in front of the police. Out of fear, we can't leave the police station for now, because if they can do something like this in front of the police, I don't know what they can do outside this territory," Liya Zaurbekova said.

One of the men who came to pick up Liya at the police station handed over his gun at the entrance to the building. In a conversation with journalists, the men who surrounded the building said that they "wanted to settle everything normally.” They also said that they did not understand why Zaurbekova was living in Moscow.

Subsequently, Zaurbekova left the police department along with her lawyer. According to the secretary of the Moscow Public Monitoring Commission (POC) for the protection of human rights, Alexei Melnikov, the Chechen woman who ran away from her relatives was taken to safety. He did not specify where exactly Zaurbekova was.

This is not the first time when stories of young Chechen women escaping from their families make headlines.

Seda Suleymanova, a native of Chechnya, arrived in St. Petersburg in October 202. She told human rights activists that she decided to escape from her home because her relatives forced her to follow local customs. She would be beaten if showing disobedience, the woman said. In addition, her relatives wanted to force the woman into marriage. Six months later, in August 2023, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Chechnya, Mansur Soltaev, said that the 26-year-old woman returned to Chechnya and assured that she was not in danger. The Ombudsman published a photo of the Chechen woman, in which one could see bruise-like mark on Suleymanova's neck.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov