- October 15, 2013
Post submitted by Tushar M, HRC Global Engagement Fellow
Violent clashes between anti-LGBT mobs and a several dozen protestors ensued this weekend in St. Petersburg at a pro-LGBT rally. In the light of the recent law banning “homosexual propaganda” in Russia, constant crackdown and violence against LGBT people has become more frequent.
Police forces observing the rally waited until fighting broke out between the two groups before intervening. Approximately 200 conservative and religious confronted the protestors. The fight started after anti-LGBT protestors tore a rainbow flag out of a woman’s hands. According to news agencies, around 67 people were arrested from both sides. Interestingly, the St. Petersburg city government had sanctioned the rally despite the Russian government's June passage of the propaganda law that banned talking about LGBT rights in public.
State-sponsored homophobia continues to reign unchecked in Russia, with police and authorities not only refusing to register violence against LGBT people, but also propagating it by regularly arresting and harassing LGBT rights activists.
The Human Rights Campaign has already asked taken action including asking the International Olympics Committee to not accept verbal promises from President Putin regarding safety of LGBT people around the Sochi Olympics, and has called for a global Speak Out on Russia with over 120,000 of its members speaking out against anti-LGBT laws and violence in Russia.
To learn more visit www.hrc.org/russia.