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Slain Russian gay-rights activist had received threats - campaigner

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian activist for LGBT rights who was fatally stabbed in St Petersburg had regularly received death threats and reported them to police, who did nothing to protect her before she was murdered, a fellow campaigner said.

Elena Grigoryeva, 41, was found dead with multiple knife wounds on Sunday evening, according to a statement from the Investigative Committee, the state body that investigates major crimes.

“Recently she had been a victim of violence and was regularly threatened with murder,” Dinar Idrisov, a rights activist who said he knew Grigoryeva, wrote on Facebook.

“Lena and her lawyer appealed to law enforcement both on account of violence and on account of threats, but there was no noticeable reaction.”

Police in St Petersburg confirmed she had reported being threatened repeatedly, but said the threats had not seemed a risk to her life and were related to domestic conflicts with people she knew, the RBC media portal reported.

Grigoryeva campaigned for gay rights and also took part in anti-war protests and rallies on other issues.

The Investigative Committee’s St Petersburg branch said late on Monday it was working to establish the identity of the suspect or suspects responsible for the murder.

Local online news outlet Fontanka reported on Monday a 40-year-old male suspect from the region of Bashkortostan had been detained.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Peter Graff)

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