He had returned from a psychiatric clinic a few hours before his death, laid three daughters to shake the apartment, and sprayed his face, according to investigators and nurses’ lawyers. His older daughter Krestina, who has asthma, fainted.
That night, the chachaturyan’s sisters – 19-year-old Krestina, 18-year-old Angelina and 17-year-old Maria – decided to kill their father. They attacked him with a hammer, a knife, and the same can of pepper he had turned on before.
Interrogation transcripts leaked to the press, and a CNN-approved lawyer by one of the sisters, show the women tried to injure themselves to look as if their father, who was asleep at the start of the attack, had first hit them with a knife. They then called the police and an ambulance.
The next day, the three were arrested and confessed to the murder, saying, according to their lawyers and the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, they had endured years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse from their father.
Last summer, the sisters were charged with premeditated murder, which caused activists in Russia a commotion that faces widespread domestic violence.
The Chachaturyans case quickly became a celebrity for rights groups fighting for a law to protect victims of domestic violence, which in 2016 Attracted by parliament.
After a long and tangled pre-trial investigation, their trial begins Friday in the Moscow courtroom. The two older sisters, Krestina and Angelina, will stand trial together. According to one of the sisters’ lawyers, Alexei Liptser, Maria, who was a minor at the time of the murder but was charged after she turned 18, is also considered mentally unfit for murder and will be tried separately for the murder. .
Experts on domestic violence, along with the sisters ’defense team, say that in the absence of adequate protection mechanisms in the law enforcement and judicial system, the only choice was to defend themselves or eventually die in the hands of the father.
Mikhail Khachaturyan threatened to kill and sexually exploit them and their mother during Liptser text chats received from his father’s phone and posted on Facebook.
“I will beat and kill everything for you,” says one April 2018 text, accusing them of having sex with a male friend. “You are prostitutes and you will die like prostitutes.”
The transcripts of the interrogation also painted a harsh picture of the mental, physical and sexual abuse that took place at least four years before the murder.
“We think they had no choice. The father pushed the girls into despair. Their whole lives were a constant hell. They can’t be compared to healthy, calm and balanced … [the] the girls developed severe mental illness, including abuse syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. This was confirmed by all the forensic examinations of the case, ”said Alexei Parshin, one of the sister lawyers.
Since last summer, activists have held dozens of demonstrations to support the sisters as part of the “I didn’t want to die” campaign, urging the authorities to reclassify the sisters’ self-defense case.
2019 A study by Media Zona, a Russian representation covering justice and prisons, found that almost 80% of Russian women imprisoned for 2016-2018. Planned murder, tried to protect himself from the harasser.
Although Russian lawmakers since 2016 They left the bill for domestic violence, but three years ago they found time to decriminalize some forms of violence.
At first, it seemed that public pressure changed the case of the Sisters Chachaturyan.
Month of January. The prosecutor’s office confirmed the defense’s statements that the Khachaturyan sisters had suffered “beatings, constant humiliation, threats and coercion, physical and sexual violence” and that they had developed a “defensive reaction.”
Prosecutors then instructed the Committee of Inquiry to reclassify the case from the planned murder to necessary self-defense.
At the time, Parshin told the state-run news agency TASS that the hearing “essentially marks the end of a criminal investigation” against sisters who had been convicted of up to 20 years of age on a murder charge.
But a staggering echo, Victor Green, the same prosecutor who first recommended underestimating the case, confirmed in May that the sisters would actually be charged with murder. The change was not explained.
Mari Davtyan, an advocate for sisters who often represent victims of domestic violence, linked the feedback to a broader trend of human rights abandonment that has been growing since July 1. The referendum adopts controversial amendments to the Russian constitution.
“I think it’s impossible not to notice what’s happening every day since 2020. On July 1, the state has chosen its own path, “Davtyan wrote on his Facebook page. “And the case of Khachaturyan is no exception.”