His living room wasn’t tidy enough

Another “prosecute the victim” story.

One evening last summer, Mikhail Khachaturyan decided that his living room wasn’t tidy enough, so he summoned his three teenage daughters one by one and doused each with pepper spray.

There was little unusual about this evening in the Khachaturyan household, according to court records, except for one thing: The sisters decided they couldn’t take the violence and abuse anymore.

They waited until their father fell asleep in his rocking chair and attacked him with a kitchen knife and a hammer. He put up a fight, but died within minutes.

The Khachaturyan sisters, now aged 18, 19 and 20, were charged last month with premeditated murder, in a case that has drawn outrage and shone a light on the way the Russian justice system handles domestic violence and sexual abuse cases.

More than 200,000 people have signed an online petition urging the prosecutors to drop the murder charges, which could land the sisters in prison for up to 20 years.

Remember when Putin gave a green light to domestic abuse?

Pressured by conservative family groups, President Vladimir Putin in 2017 signed a law decriminalising some forms of domestic violence, which has no fixed definition in the Russian legislation.

Police routinely turn a blind eye to cases of domestic abuse, while preventive measures, such as restraining orders, are either lacking or not in wide use.

Court filings showed that the Khachaturyan sisters were repeatedly beaten by their father, a war veteran, and sexually abused.

He kept a bunch of guns and knives in the house. He threatened neighbors as well as his daughters with violence.

Prosecutors acknowledge the extraordinary violent circumstances that pushed the teenagers to attack and eventually kill their own father, but they insist that Maria, Angelina and Krestina should be tried for murder.

The sisters’ lawyers argue that they were acting in justified self-defence in circumstances of lasting abuse and life-threatening violence.

H/t Rob

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