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Topics In the News
More Anti-gay Violence and Threats in Russia
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 11/25/13
Last updated on: 11/25/13
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Queer Nation protests Russian anti-gay policies.

In advance of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, more violence and threats of violence against glbtq people in Russia have been reported. Encouraged by the "anti-gay propaganda" law and other legislation targeting gay people, increased violence, often perpetrated by self-proclaimed vigilantes, has been reported in Russia. These include, in addition to brutal murders and harassment of individuals, bomb threats that delayed the opening of the St. Petersburg lgbt film festival and shootings and bomb threats at gay clubs in Moscow. In the face of the uptick of violence, the International Olympic Committee has remained silent.

On November 16, 2013, two gunmen opened fire at Central Station, a gay club in Moscow. The shooting injured no one, but bullets were sprayed into the building. A week later, a gas bomb was exploded at the same venue. Although some 500 clubgoers were affected by the gas, they refused to seek help from a hospital because of the stigma of being gay in Russia.

On November 21, 2013, the opening of the St. Petersburg lgbt film festival was delayed by a called-in bomb threat. The call came as an agressive group of anti-gay protesters taunted the attendees.

Earlier in November, anti-gay thugs stormed a glbtq community center in Moscow. In the melee, activist Dmitry Chizhevsky was blinded in his right eye by a metal pellet shot from a pneumatic pistol.

There is no question that glbtq people in Russia now live in a climate of fear and violence, as they are increasingly subject to public acts of harassment and private acts of torture.

Despite the reports of increased violence against glbtq citizens in Russia, the International Olympic Committee has maintained its silence, eloquently expressing its indifference to the oppression experienced by gay people in the host country of the Winter Games.

Queer Nation has underlined the apathy not only of the IOC, but also of the American sponsors of the Olympics in this chilling video, posted as a trailer for a forthcoming film about anti-gay oppression in Russia.

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