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Russian official protests ‘well-engineered campaign of slander’

Embassy says attacks against gay people ‘are few and far between’

Human Rights Watch has compiled video footage filmed by Russian anti-gay groups, such as Occupy Pedophilia, which claims to have hunted down hundreds of gay men. Credit: Human Rights Watch

A documentary on violence against gay people in Russia that aired in early February on the UK’s Channel 4 is part of a “well-engineered campaign of slander,” according to the Russian embassy, the Telegraph reports.

The documentary Hunted reports on the Russian group Occupy Pedophilia, which claims to have hunted down and kidnapped hundreds of gay men and has posted videos of their torture and humiliation online.

The embassy, however, said the claims are exaggerated, gay people in Russia are no more persecuted than redheads in the UK, and the documentary is simply political opportunism.

“One could have easily whipped up such ‘documentary’ about a hunting season on redheads in the UK, saying that ‘ginger’ people face unmotivated verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis,” the embassy said.

“If the authors of the documentary really had evidence of rampant gay hate crimes in Russia, they wouldn’t need to wait until an international sporting event takes place in Russia to raise the alarm.

“While violent attacks on homosexuals sometimes take place in Russia, just like in many other European countries, this does not mean that they are condoned, supported or, let alone, encouraged by the Government. Such attacks are few and far between and by no means reflect general sentiments of the Russian people.”