A number of queer media organizations, including Pink News and Gay Star News, are circulating a video that reportedly shows a trans woman being thrown around and beaten by at least four men in a Russian park.
Posted to a social networking site called vk.com, the disturbing video shows the attackers punching, kicking and partially stripping the person of clothing and underwear. She eventually manages to escape her attackers, who make an aborted attempt to follow her.
Earlier in August, there were reports that a gay Russian teen may have been killed after he was lured, captured and tortured.
A Gay Star News report cites an advocacy group, Spectrum Human Rights Alliance (SHRA), as saying that Russian police have taken no action against vigilante groups involved in luring and torturing gay teens, despite numerous complaints from parents, victims and queer activists.
The report quotes SHRA as saying that videos of bullying and torture are “freely distributed on the internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends.”
Russia’s recently enacted anti-gay laws are being blamed for an uptick in attacks on queer people in the country and have motivated a number of athletes to engage in various forms of protest at the World Athletics Championships being held in Russia.
On the weekend, and on the heels of Swedish athletes’ symbolic gesture of support for gays and lesbians, the Finnish minister for culture and sports, Paavo Arhinmäki, waved a rainbow flag at the women’s high-jump final. Pink News says Arhinmäki, who approached his Russian counterpart about the law banning so-called promotion of “nontraditional sexual relations” to minors, called oppression of queer people part of a wider human rights problem in Russia and called for solutions.
Russia’s anti-gay laws have also sparked widespread calls for the boycott of the Sochi Winter Games next year, or their removal to another country.
Still others have rejected the call for a boycott, saying the best way to challenge the laws is for gay athletes to show up, dominate the medal podium at the Games and register their opposition to the laws in some form.