John M. Becker

Report: Russia Turns a Blind Eye to Anti-LGBT Violence

Filed By John M. Becker | December 16, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Andrew Nasonov, Human Rights Watch, report, Russia, Russian anti-gay law, Russian LGBT people

nasonov-human-rights-watch.jpgA major new report from Human Rights Watch documents an alarming surge in homophobic violence and harassment in Russia following that country's passage of its infamous ban on so-called "gay propaganda" last year.

The group writes that the law fuels and legitimizes an alarming surge in hate-motivated vigilante crimes against LGBT people across Russia -- and the Putin government is consistently failing to prosecute or even stop them.

The 85-page report... is based on dozens of detailed interviews with LGBT people and activists in 16 cities across Russia who experienced attacks or aggressive harassment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT people described being beaten, abducted, humiliated, and called "pedophiles" or "perverts," in some cases by homophobic vigilante groups and in others by strangers on the subway, on the street, at nightclubs, at cafes, and in one case, at a job interview.

"Violence experienced by LGBT people in Russia is unmistakably motivated by homophobia, but the authorities deliberately ignore that these are hate crimes and fail to protect victims," said Tanya Cooper, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Russian authorities should effectively prosecute homophobic violence, and the authorities should stop engaging in and tolerating anti-LGBT discrimination."...

LGBT activists also face physical violence and harassment at public events supporting LGBT equality. The vast majority of LGBT activists interviewed had been attacked at least once during public pro-LGBT events since 2012, describing attacks in several cities. They said that although anti-LGBT counter-protesters routinely harass and attack them, the police consistently fail to take adequate measures to prevent the attacks and protect them from violence.

Among the LGBT activists interviewed for the Human Rights Watch report is Bilerico Project guest blogger and gay Russian asylum-seeker Andrew Nasonov. He also appears in the group's video report:

Read the full Human Rights Watch report, "License to Harm: Violence and Harassment Against LGBT People and Activists in Russia," after the break.

License to Harm - Violence and Harassment Against LGBT People and Activists in Russia by JohnMBecker

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