"The girls are already in Georgia!" - four sisters from Dagestan flee family and death
At dawn on October 30, four sisters from Dagestan managed to cross the border into Georgia after being held on the Russian side at the Upper Lars checkpoint for more than ten hours. Russian human rights activists accompanying them say they are in a safe place.
The girls say they are fleeing violence from their families, where they were beaten and threatened with death if they did not fulfill the requirements oftradition — to pray, leave school and marry whom they say. With the help of human rights activists they managed to leave Dagestan and hide in secret apartments for three months before going to Georgia.
There have been no comments yet on this case from the Georgian authorities nor human rights activists.
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In the video below, all four girls make their pleas for help: 20-year-old Khadizhat Khizrieva, her 18-year-old sister Patimat Khizrieva, and their first and second cousins Aminat Gazimagomedova (24) and Patimat Magomedova (19). They say that their families will kill them if they return:
A drama unfolded on the Russian side of the border. The border guards asked if their parents allowed them to leave the country (though all the sisters are adults), then they took their passports away and called the police. Relatives arrived at the checkpoint and tried to bring them home, including the mother of Khadizhat and Patimat Khizriev and their cousin.
This was stopped thanks only to the activity of lawyers from the CK SOS Crisis Group, which took control of their case.
According to human rights activists, in childhood the sisters were subjected to female circumcision, prohibited in Russia.
Svetlana Anokhina, a human rights activist from the Marem group, told the “Caucasian Knot” that “the relatives of the girls have great connections. For three months they were in crisis apartments. Relatives tried to find them, including sending people to me,” Anokhina said.
The father of Khadizhat and Patimat Khizriev told Anokhina that he would return his daughters, who, in his opinion, had been “corrupted”. He denied ever hitting his daughters and promised that “no hair would fall from the sisters’ heads” if they returned.
Meanwhile, SK SOS published a photo with signs of beating on Patimat Khizrieva:
Commenting on the situation, Anokhina recalled the case of Khalimat Taramova, who fled from her family and also complained of domestic violence. Relatives took her from a crisis apartment in Makhachkala and brought her home to Chechnya.
“If they are taken away now, the girls are gone. At least we know about Taramova that she is alive, people who see her accompanied on the street tell us. But there are cases when girls are taken away and we hear nothing more about them. So it is with the Dagestan girls, who were taken by their relatives from the Kazan shelter. We never heard of them again,” she told the Caucasian Knot.