By Ellie May
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Putin’s homophobic laws lie behind a wave of violent attacks across Russia

This article is over 8 years, 5 months old
Issue 2366
Protesters at the Russian embassy in London
Protesters at the Russian embassy in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Russian Nazis are using a social networking site to target young gay men for torture, according to the human rights group Spectrum. 

One such teenager is believed to have died from his injuries.

The bigots created fake profiles and gay personal ads to lure young gay men to meeting places where they would be beaten and humiliated.

The most active group is called Occupy Paedophilia. It claims it was set up to protect children from paedophiles.

But it operates as a front for a neo-fascist coalition that tries to terrorise LGBT Russians.

These attacks follow a raft of anti-LGBT laws unanimously passed by the Russian parliament this summer and ratified by president Vladimir Putin.

One bans the distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors imposing fines of up to £10,500.

A second makes the adoption of Russian children by LGBT couples from other countries illegal.

A third allows the authorities to arrest foreign nationals who they suspect are LGBT or “pro-gay” and detain them for up to 14 days before deportation.

The government claims it is is promoting “traditional” Russian values over Western liberalism. It says liberalism has corrupted young people and contributed to recent anti-Putin protests.

Stephen Fry is one of many LGBT activists calling for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics at Sochi in Russia.

But the fight for LGBT liberation in Russia must come through a grassroots mobilisation from below. The Russian LGBT Network is against a boycott.

Laws making LGBT “propaganda” illegal are thoroughly offensive, but such bigotry is not peculiar to Russia. 

In Britain Section 28, anti-gay legislation passed by the Tories in 1988, was only repealed in 2003.

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