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Russian special agents attempt to enter home of domestic violence shelter volunteers where young woman was hiding from family

Officers from the Anti-Extremism Center (Center E), a special division of the Russian police force, attempted to enter an apartment where a 20-year-old woman was hiding under the auspices of Nasiliu.net, a major organization combatting domestic violence in Russia. Seroye Fioletovoye (Gray Purple), the activist and artist whose home was approached, told Nasiliu.net about the incident.

According to Fioletovoye, the young woman had spent one night in the apartment when Center E officers paid a visit. They asked Fioletovoye, an agender human rights activist, about personal topics including the activist’s surgical transition, political performance art, and employment. When Fioletovoye refused to let the officers enter the apartment, they responded, “We’ll be seeing each other more often.”

Fioletovoye’s partner, whose name is Viktoria, had received text messages from an officer named Denis Pavlushkin on February 16 and 17 telling her to visit a local police station for questioning. On February 15, a group of police officers had searched the activists’ apartment without a warrant; on February 18, Pavlushkin himself visited the apartment along with a psychiatrist. They inquired after the 20-year-old woman being served by Nasiliu.net.

The young woman first approached Nasiliu.net on February 14. She said her mother had regularly beat her and handcuffed her to a radiator; the mother also allegedly allowed a young man she called her daughter’s “fiancé” to abuse the young woman sexually on a repeated basis, though the daughter herself denies any romantic connection. The 20-year-old has attempted to prevent her mother from initiating a missing persons case to allow police to search for her.