BBC Report: Anti-Gay Russian Group ’Hunts’ LGBT Community
A new and disturbing report from BBC News shows the actions of a self-described vigilante group, called "Occupy Paedophilia." In a series of video clips, the group's members allegedly force a gay man to drink urine and, in another, a woman can be heard saying she's "out on safari" to hunt for pedophiles and gays.
The BBC News writes that in one clip, the woman, whose name is Yekaterina, is wearing camouflage and is holding a gun before she shouts that she wants to hunt gays. She then shoots towards an imaginary "rainbow target" but the BBC notes that Yekaterina is apparently joking.
"Our priority is uncovering cases of paedophilia," Yekaterina told the BBC. "But we're 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."
In another video, a 22-year-old gay man is allegedly forced to drink urine to "cure him" of being gay.
"Then a metal bucket is placed over the man's head and hit with what looks like a baseball bat and a police truncheon," the BBC writes. "Attacks like this, filmed and posted online, are being carried out across Russia by an ultranationalist group. It claims its objective is to name, shame and punish suspected paedophiles."
Reporters from the BBC also went to a gay bar in Sochi, Russia, (where the Winter Olympic Games will be held next year) to see how the country's LGBT community currently lives.
"Many gay people have changed how they dress, they've removed earrings, changed their hairstyles, to avoid having problems," Russian gay club co-owner said. "Even back in the USSR, where homosexuality was a criminal offence, gays were treated better than they are now in Russia. Ordinary people see us as criminals. They hate us."
This isn’t the first time "Occupy Paedophilia" has made international headlines, however. In July a report from the Spectrum Human Rights Alliance claims that Russian skinheads used a popular social media website in Russia to lure LGBT teens through personal ads. The report says the groups "Occupy Pedophilyaj" and "Occupy Gerontilyaj," are allegedly trying find and report pedophiles on social media.
"Over 500 online groups have been created inside VK.com social network in order to organize illegal militant groups in every Russian city," the report reads. "Oddly enough their idea of fighting pedophiles targets exclusively male teenagers who respond to the same-sex personal ads and show up for a date."
The report says the victims who were lured, were bullied and often tortured while being recorded. The groups apparently assaulted the victims in daylight and the general public indifferently walked by them.
The videos "are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends," the report says. The report also alleges that some of the teens were driven to suicide or were left "deeply traumatized."
"So far Russian police took no action against these ’movements’ even though Russian criminal code was clearly violated and despite numerous complaints from parents, victims and LGBT activists," the report reads. "Social network VK.com intermittently shuts down selected groups and profiles only to allow them to be reopened on the next day. Currently, the founder of VK.com, Pavel Durov, resides in the US and so far has not released any comments."
These videos surfaced weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" measure into law this summer. More recently, a Russian official proposed a bill that would deny gay parents custody over their children.
Watch the videos below (WARNING: they are very disturbing):