MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police said on Thursday they had detained a man over the fatal stabbing of an LGBT activist near her home in St Petersburg and were not treating the murder as a hate crime.
Elena Grigoryeva, 41, was stabbed eight times in the face and back on Saturday night by an assailant whom she knew following an argument between them, the Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said in a statement.
It did not name the suspect, identifying him only as a man born in Soviet Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia in 1981. It said he had been drunk during the attack.
“… The murder was committed on domestic grounds during a conflict that arose between two people who had known each other previously,” the Investigative Committee said.
Grigoryeva campaigned for gay rights and also took part in anti-war protests and rallies on other issues.
A spokesman for the Council of Europe urged Russia on Wednesday to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the murder, noting on social media what it said were rising hate crimes in Europe and the need to protect LGBT communities.
The murder prompted a fellow campaigner to say Grigoryeva had regularly received death threats in the past and reported them to police, but that they had not acted upon those threats.
(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Larry King)