Two Persons Badly Injured by Antigay Attackers

Civil Rights Defenders condemns the brutal violence at the LGBT meeting “Rainbow Coffee” in St Petersburg this week. Two persons where badly injured by antigay attackers. Aggression and violent attacks towards LGBT-people have steadily increased since Russia introduced laws that ban “propaganda of homosexuality”. Not a single case has been investigated as a hate-crime so far.

“This violent act of hatred should not go unpunished and has to be considered a hate crime. We urge the Russian authorities to make their outmost to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” said Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eurasia, Civil Rights Defenders.

On 3 November, two men showed up at a community centre in St. Petersburg where “Rainbow Coffee” was held. According to witnesses the attackers said they where “looking for a friend”, when inside one of them pulled out a pneumatic gun and opened fire while the other one started attacking people with a baseball bat. A young man was shot in the face and got a bullet stuck in his eye. The prognosis for him does not look good and he will most likely not recover from his eye injury. The other victim was a young woman who was beaten badly with a baseball bat.

The police arrived on site, but left right away after saying that they did not see any evidence of the crime. In later statements the police said that they are currently investigating the incident as a case of hooliganism and not a hate crime.

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