August 1, 2019 / 1:38 PM / 4 months ago

Russian police arrest new suspect in slaying of LGBT activist

Supporters of LGBT community attend a rally after a murder of Elena Grigoryeva, activist for LGBT rights, in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Igor Russak

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police have detained a new suspect in the fatal stabbing of an LGBT activist near her home in St Petersburg after last week taking the wrong man into custody, investigators said on Thursday.

Elena Grigoryeva, 41, was stabbed eight times in the face and back the night of July 20 by a local resident she had been drinking with, following an argument between the two, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

The agency, which handles major crimes, last week arrested a man born in Soviet Kyrgyzstan who had known Grigoryeva, but said he had accused another man of the murder during questioning and that further investigation had shown his allegations to be correct.

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 has urged Russia 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.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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