In a video released by the BBC, the Russian organization Occupy Pedophilia is seen on the attack, forcing a man to drink his own urine and shoving another’s head in a toilet bowl. The group claims to be “on safari hunting pedophiles and gays."
"Our priority is uncovering cases of pedophilia,” says Ekaterina Zigunova, an Occupy Pedophilia vigilante. “But we are also against the promotion of homosexuality, and if, along the way, we encounter people of non-traditional sexual orientation, we can kill two birds with one stone."
Occupy Pedophilia posts videos online of their attacks on people they perceive to be pedophiles or homosexuals. Russian gay activist Larry Poltavtsev claims that the group is one of many that have surfaced in Russia since President Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law was implemented, making the promotion of homosexuality illegal.
"They are like al Qaeda: a very loose structure formed by independent cells not controlled and loosely connected to each other,” Poltavtsev says. “That’s why they are successful . . . I’ve counted that each group posted at least 10 to 15 videos [featuring] torture. But you don’t see all the videos. Some groups are shy; they write about their actions, but they don’t put that out [on film]. It depends on the severity of the situation."
The latest political homophobia in Russia comes from lawmaker Alexei Zhuravlev, who published a bill on parliament’s website that, if passed, would deny gay parents custody of their children.