As if life as a Russian LGBTQ person weren’t hard enough — what with the country’s continentally denounced 2013 law forbidding “gay propaganda” and the Republic of Chechnya hunting down its queer citizens — some random psychopath threw some sort of acid on LGBTQ activists last weekend, injuring six people. No arrests have yet been made in the Russia acid attack on queer activists.
Was a homophobic spy involved in the Russia acid attack?
Last Saturday, November 11, an unnamed assailant threw a stinging liquid on six people who were leaving the Fourth LGBTIQ+ Family Conference in Moscow, an annual conference organized by the local LGBTQ group called Resource.
The injured people were knocked down by the liquid’s stinging effect. One of the injured people was Zoya Matisova, a well-known activist who recently became a board member of the Russian LGBT Network, the local group who has been helping persecuted Chechens flee the region.
Although the injuries were minor, Mikhail Tumasov, the director of the Russian LGBT Network’s, said that the substance thrown upon the activists was believed to be some sort of acid because of the injuries and the fact that it smelled like acetone, a type of chemical acid. The activists also suspect that a spy must’ve posed as an LGBTQ person at their organizational meetings to find out the time and place where the weekend conference would be held.
The Russia acid attack is just a symptom of the country’s toxic queer-phobia
This (attack) shows again the level of hypocrisy of the Russian powers not to see any of LGBTI problems. This is in spite what is happening in Chechnya or in Moscow. Some people filed the incident to the police and we will see if any action will be done to follow this hate crime which for sure it is.
Russia’s persecution of LGBTQ people has come about as a central part of President Vladimir V. Putin’s nationalist message of Russia as a defender of Christian and traditional values against decadent, godless Western culture, according to The New York Times. Although federal defenders of Russia’s “gay propaganda” law claim that such a law is necessary to protect public health and morality, the European Court of Human Rights said that the Russian government failed to prove LGBTQ people’s negative effect on either.
Though the European Court of Human Rights deemed the law as “discriminatory and, over all, (serving) no legitimate public interest,” adding that it only “reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia,” the court has no way to enforce its ruling on Russia. Russia promised to appeal the ruling.
Featured image by valya v via Flickr