Student ‘tortured and murdered by ex-lover’ after police ignored seven calls
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A young woman was allegedly tortured and murdered by her former boyfriend after police failed to respond to seven emergency calls.
Vera Pekhteleva, 23, died after allegedly being strangled to death with an iron cord during a brutal three-and-a-half-hour assault by ex-lover Vladislav Kanyus at his flat in Kemerovo, Siberia, Russia.
It is alleged she was collecting her belongings from the 24-year-old's home after ending their relationship before he trapped her inside and began "torturing" her, including smashing her head against a wall, case evidence stated.
Police said she suffered 56 wounds, including head injuries, cuts and fractures.
Concerned neighbours called officers seven times after hearing her pleas for help, but they were ignored on the grounds the incident was a domestic dispute, according to reports.
Residents said they heard Vera trying several times to leave the property, but she was repeatedly stopped.
After calling the police, neighbours eventually found her body after by prying a door open with a crowbar.
Vera's mum Oksana Pekhteleva is now calling for justice against two police officers, Major Mikhail Balashov and Captain Dmitry Taritsyn.
She rejected the original indictment, which claimed her daughter was "hit four times and strangled", despite forensic experts claiming she endured 56 separate injuries.
She added that the "torture and mocking" during her daughter's ordeal was "not taken into account at all".
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Her campaign for action has been supported by Russian singer and model Valeriya, who is a former domestic violence victim.
Alena Popova, a leading campaigner against domestic and sexual abuse, said: "The (alleged) killer can get a short sentence, and even win freedom on parole.
"The police officers, too, may avoid fair punishment and get off with just a fine for negligence."
She alleged the Russian state was "defending the interests of the killer and the police".
Ms Popova added: "This attitude towards domestic violence has already become the norm in Russia.
"The state continues to view domestic violence not as a crime, but as a centuries-old tradition in the Russian family, in which it should not interfere.
"As a result, the state stands on the sidelines and waits for the next corpse to be picked up.”
She also called for "widespread publicity" of the case.
"The (alleged) murderer should not be allowed to get away with a short sentence, and the police – with a fine," she said.
A social media campaign, backed by Valeriya and Popova, has already attracted 100,000 likes.
While Vera's death occurred last year, the details of case have only come to light now following a recent investigation.
She was supposed to graduate from university shortly after her death.
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