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Prominent LGBT Activist 'Brutally Killed' in Russia

Yelena Grigoryeva found stabbed, possibly strangled in bushes near her home
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2019 5:32 PM CDT
In this Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 file photo Russian gay rights activists march along a Moscow boulevard in downtown.   (AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – Yelena Grigoryeva had recently filed several police complaints after having been "the victim of violence and death threats," per her fellow activist and friend Dinar Idrisov. She was even, according to NBC News, listed on a website encouraging people to "hunt" LGBTQ activists and offering up their photos and addresses. Now the 41-year-old activist is dead, according to Idrisov and other friends and relatives. Russian authorities confirmed a 41-year-old woman was found dead in bushes near Grigoryeva's St. Petersburg home Sunday, but have not confirmed her identity. She had multiple stab wounds and signs of strangulation, the BBC reports. A suspect has been detained, according to local media.

Police also have not confirmed the reports of death threats against Grigoryeva, claiming she was only getting threats related to domestic issues, and it is not yet clear whether the attack was connected to her activism, which encompassed more than just LGBTQ causes. She also protested Russia's annexation of Crimea, mistreatment of prisoners, and other human rights issues. Idrisov says that after finding out her name had been listed on the snuff website, which was inspired by the torture movie Saw, Grigoryeva was especially worried; she even posted an alert about the site on Facebook three days before she was killed. "I learned today that Lena asked a mutual friend to take care of her cat in the event of her death when she was threatened with murder," Idrisov wrote. (Read more Russia stories.)

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