On July 2, 2018 in Moscow city Christina, Maria and Angelina Khachaturyan (accordingly, 19, 18 and 17 years old) killed their father, 57 years old Mikhail Khachaturyan who had been subjecting the girls to cruel violence for years.

According to the investigation, 17 years old Angelina Khachaturyan has stabbed her father with a knife at least 35 times, and the other two sisters, besides hitting, have also used a pepper spray against their father as a means of self-defense. Immediately after the murder Christina Khachaturyan has called the police and reported about the incident.

Following the case investigation, in September 2018 the court decided to put the sisters under house arrest, but almost a year after the incident, on June 14, the Khachaturyan sisters were charged based on the Article 105, part 2, point ж) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation which is premeditated murder committed by a group of persons, which shall be punishable with deprivation of liberty for a term of from 8 to 20 years.

It is unacceptable to accuse the Khachaturyan sisters of such a crime while the testimonies of the witnesses prove that the girls have been regularly exposed to violence by Mikhail Khachaturyan for years. According to the Khachaturyan sisters’ testimonies, not only have been they subjected to psychological and physical violence by their father for years, but also to sexual violence, which has been committed periodically and because of which the sisters have even attempted to escape from home.

Sergey, the son of the murdered man, also has testified on sexual violence; he has told that once the senior sister had called him and told, that the father had forced the youngest sister to take a bath with him. The sisters’ classmates have also given testimony on physical violence, mentioning about the bruises that regularly have appeared on the girls. Their neighbors have given similar testimonies as well, stating that they had noticed bruises on the sisters, and had heard screams and yelps from their house. Moreover, Mikhail Khachaturyan regularly used violence against her ex-wife, Aurelia Dunduk, who has claimed that her ex-husband used to beat and humiliate her as well.

This case clearly demonstrates that the patriarchal system does not value the female’s life the way it values the male’s life, and hence does not create appropriate conditions or develops additional obstacles and such punishment models that affect women’s health and life.

This case is an obvious example of neglect of domestic violence and, also, of failure of the government to fulfill its responsibility to protect women from domestic violence and abuse; a situation when the government had created an environment of impunity for Mikhail Khachaturyan, promoting him to continue to commit his crime for years. As a result of this, the only way for the girls to protect themselves from violence, to save their own and others’ life, health and rights was to harm the perpetrator of publicly dangerous crimes.   

We join the exhortations of our fighting sisters in Russia and demand to restore justice for the Khachaturyan sisters who were regularly exposed to violence.