Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova helps launch investigation after cafe ejects her autistic sister for 'scaring customers'

The cafe owners could face five years in jail for the 'violation of human dignity with the threat of violence'

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The Independent Online

Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova has helped launch a criminal investigation into a cafe after they kicked her autistic sister out for 'scaring customers'.

She wrote a furious Facebook post after her 27-year-old sister, Oksana, who has cerebral palsy and autism, was ordered by staff to leave a cafe after the owner alleged she was frightening other customers by 'banging her head against the wall'.

"The owner of the cafe suddenly came up to [Oksana and her carer] and said, 'Get out of here, you are scaring all our customers, go get treated and treat your child, then you can go out in public'," she said.

She added that when they refused to leave, a security guard threatened to have them committed to a psychiatric institution. Police were called to the scene and told the women they were being threatened with 'minor hooligansm'.

Hours after her post went up, Russia’s investigative committee opened a criminal case into the 'violation of human dignity with the threat of violence'. It carries a maximum jail term of five years. The committee called the cafe's actions 'an outrageous incident'.

Vodianova has modelled for Givenchy and Stella McCartney and has been the face of campaigns for Calvin Klein.

She is a long-time advocate for the rights of disabled people, and her post comes as Russia continues to make attempts to improve the treatment of people with disabilities. The country is home to an estimated 13 million people with disabilities, about 9% of the population, according to Human Rights Watch.

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