Russia: Anti-Gay Thugs Shoot Two Men At LGBT Community Center, Police Refuse To Investigate
There was a shooting at the LaSky offices, a meeting place for gay HIV+ men in St. Petersburg, on Sunday that left two men hospitalized. St. Petersburg police have refused to investigate the violent attack.
At about 19.20 on Sunday, November 3, 2013 the "Rainbow Coffee" traditionally held at the community center of the project LaSky-St.Petersburg was attacked by two assailants. They entered community center pretending to be "looking for a friend". Then one of them pulled a pneumatic gun and opened fire while the other was brandishing a baseball bat. Two persons were injured in the attack. A young man, who was shot in the face and has got a bullet stuck in his eye, was taken to the hospital. Doctors say his prognosis is not good -- his injured eye will hardly be recovered. A second victim was a young lady who was injured by baseball bat.
"Rainbow Coffee" is a weekly social event for LGBT-youth and heterosexual allies aiming to support free non-judgmental communication of participants. About 25-30 people were attending the last meeting. It is not the first time when all kinds of homophobic groups in social networks pay vicious attention to the project LaSky-Saint-Petersburg providing services for HIV and other STD prevention on MSM. About a month ago several homophobic vk.com pages posted calls for actions against LaSky community center. Today's attack is a result of escalation of homophobic climate in the city. Those who foster the feelings of hatred on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity including politicians and religious leaders must be accounted for it.
This attack aimed at the office of organization for prevention of HIV and STD is an indication that pogrom-makers progressed from attacking activists during street rallies to attacks on closed private social events. Human Rights defenders of the city are following this incident with an intense attention and will press for just and fair investigation of this homophobic hate crime.