Just days before the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, Russia, Human Rights Watch released a video showing brutal harassment of gay Russian men ranging from public humiliation to physical violence.
The video compiles numerous instances of local vigilantes tricking young gay men into thinking they are going on a date, only to berate them and at times physically and sexually assault them; according to HRW, the groups use anti-pedophilia laws to abuse their victims with impunity. The video also documents LGBT activists being attacked during protests and then detained by Russian police.
Spokespeople for Human Rights Watch called on Russian officials to crack down on the harassment.
Russia has come under global scrutiny for its recent slate of anti-LGBT laws, criticism which has increased under the exposure of the upcoming Olympic games. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made vague promises that LGBT visitors for the Olympics will not face harassment, but other officials, like Sochi’s mayor, have been less inviting.
Watch the full clip below, via Human Rights Watch:
[h/t New York Times]
[Image via screengrab]
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