Underground artists unite for Moscow gig in support of sisters at heart of controversial domestic abuse trial

Underground artists unite for Moscow gig in support of sisters at heart of controversial domestic abuse trial
Rosemary Loves a Blackberry/bandcamp

25 July 2019

Some of the biggest names in Russia’s punk rock underground are set to appear at a one-off gig to support three sisters accused of murdering their abusive father.

Feminist group Ona, punk rock trio Mirrored Lips, and electronic artist Rosemary Loves a Blackberry — otherwise know as Diana Burkot, drummer in iconic No-Wave band Fanny Kaplan — are among the bands expected to headline at the concert in Moscow’s Bumazhnaya Fabrika.

The Khachaturyan sisters — Krestina, Angelina, and Maria — were 19, 18, and 17 years old respectively when they killed their father on 27 July 2018. Advocates for the teenagers say they had been acting in self-defence following years of brutal physical, emotional, and sexual abuse at the hands of 57-year-old Mikhail. The Russian court system, however, has pushed ahead to charge the three women with premeditated murder, a charge which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The case has sparked widespread public outcry across Russia, with rallies in support of the sisters held across the country, and calls for stronger laws to protect victims of domestic violence.

Money raised by the concert will go towards the Khachaturyan sisters’ defence, while visitors and the artists themselves will get the chance to write letters of support.

“We urge everyone to unite in support of the sisters: to organise online protests, to head out on silent or one-man demonstrations, to spread the word and demand that these charges are dismissed,” organisers said.

“We demand that Russia finally adopt a law on domestic violence and self-defense, and ratifies the Council of Europe’s international agreement on violence against women. Domestic violence is what has become the background for this entire government. You can try and ignore it or say it isn’t there, but it affects all of our lives, even if it has never happened to us personally.”

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