Turkish court acquits boyfriend of murdering Russian feminist activist — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Turkish court acquits boyfriend of murdering Russian feminist activist

A court in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum has acquitted a Syrian man accused of murdering his Russian girlfriend in September for lack of evidence, independent news outlet Mediazona reported on Monday, citing a friend of the deceased.

The body of Anastasia Yemelyanova, a 32-year-old Russian citizen, was discovered in an apartment in Erzurum on 20 September. The police soon detained her 29-year-old boyfriend, Mohammad Nizar Arnabeh, on suspicion of murder. A few hours later, he confessed to stabbing her in the leg with a shard of glass during an argument. He failed to call an ambulance and Yemelyanova bled to death.

Nizar Arnabeh. Photo: social media

Nizar Arnabeh. Photo: social media

Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported at the time that neighbours reported hearing a domestic dispute in the couple’s apartment and that Nizar Arnabeh had eventually knocked on one neighbour’s door to ask for help. “I told him that I was a paramedic and I could treat the wound if it wasn’t too severe,” the neighbour said. “As we approached the apartment, I looked into the doorway and saw a pool of blood that had already clotted, and that’s when I realised the woman was already dead”.

In court, Nizar Arnabeh denied all charges and changed his testimony several times, Mediazona reported. Hürriyet said that he was ultimately acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Yemelyanova, a feminist activist, left Russia in the summer of 2022, a few months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine. She moved to Turkey and met Nizar Arnabeh, a Syrian who had also settled in Turkey as a refugee, on the dating app Tinder.

Yemelyanova was a presenter on the Femexplanation YouTube channel, which posts videos “about the problems currently faced by women in Russia and around the world”. She campaigned against gender inequality, participated in anti-war rallies and was involved with Russian dissident groups Rodina and Vesna.

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