A Russian activist has expressed concern that police officers who reportedly ignored calls about domestic violence for hours could get away with a fine after an incident in the Siberian city of Kemerovo left a young woman dead.
In January 2020, 23-year-old student Vera Pekhteleva was killed by her boyfriend Vladislav Kanyus, after she decided to break up with him.
Over the course of a few hours, Pekhteleva’s neighbors called the police at least seven times, but the cops failed to show up. After some time, neighbors broke through her door themselves, but it was too late. Pekhteleva was dead – beaten all over and strangled with a cord.
That’s according to Alena Popova, the founder of TyNeOdna (You’re Not Alone), a network for helping women suffering from domestic violence.
Writing on her Facebook, Popova revealed that she decided to make the case details public amid fears that the girl’s ex-boyfriend will receive a lenient sentence, and the police will get away with a fine. Their trial is due to start later this week.
“If the police arrived on time, Vera could have been saved. For about 2 hours, neighbors called the police,” Popova wrote. “They heard Vera trying to open the door, but her killer pulled her away and beat, beat, beat… At least 7 calls were made to the police. No result.”
In the calls, published by Popova, neighbors warned the cops that someone could be murdered.
According to the local Investigative Committee, the police “neglected their job duties” and have since refused to cooperate with authorities. Now, two senior officers will go to court and could face a fine of 120,000 rubles or a short stint behind bars.
Women’s activist Popova also explained that Kanyus is not being prosecuted for “murder committed in a cruel way” but simply just murder. Therefore, instead of facing life behind bars, Kanyus could be released within six to 15 years.
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