HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Original Article: bit.ly/1qRGV3z
Russian authorities have failed in their obligation to prevent and prosecute homophobic violence. Growing numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people have been attacked and harassed across Russia in the lead-up and aftermath of the adoption of the federal anti-LGBT “propaganda” law in June 2013. The law effectively legalized discrimination against LGBT people and cast them as second-class citizens.
The 85-page report, “License to Harm: Violence and Harassment against LGBT People and Activists in Russia,” 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.”
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