Site Archive‎ > ‎LGBTI Rights‎ > ‎Moscow‎ > ‎

Gay activists continue to receive threats after attack on gay club

15 October 2012

Source: (info)
After unknown attackers beat patrons at a popular Moscow gay bar on Thursday, October 11, Rainbow Association activist Pavel Samburov received multiple phone calls with threats and insults from anonymous individuals. 

Samburov reported the calls to the Agora Human Rights Association. Meanwhile, a lawyer with the Agora Association, Ilnur Sharapov, met with two female victims of the attack whose cases the human rights group plans to represent.

According to Agora’s reports, the lawyer said one of the young women was evaluated by a trauma specialist and was found to have bruises and scrapes to the head, as well as an injury to her left shoulder joint. Recently, she began to experience severe headaches and dizziness, which led her to seek help from a neuropathologist.

The young woman told human rights representatives that she was standing near the entrance of the bar when she was pushed by people who came running inside. Two of them began to kick her in the head. Another young man, who approached the Agora Association for legal assistance, was found to have bruises and scrapes on his head. Witnesses of the attacks said that day there were two individuals dressed in “classic” costumes at the bar, who stood near the DJ stand and observed the surrounding activity.

Agora reported that the young man told Sharapov that approximately five minutes before the attack, the two individuals began walking out, and one was overheard saying over the phone: “We can start.” Another witness noted that when police were extracting video recordings from security cameras posted on nearby buildings, they praised the quality of the technology, saying “Everything should show up clearly.”

Some witnesses claim the attackers were likely minors, judging by their build. Victims said there had been only two adults among the attackers: one threated the female bartender with a gun and ordered her to lie on the floor, while the other sprayed a waiter in the face with pepper spray.

Witnesses remembered the attackers saying, “You ordered a fight? Now you’re going to get it.” They also claimed that police who arrived at the scene mentioned another attack on a nearby club, but it was unclear which establishment they were referring to.

“I saw comments from surprised people on the Internet, who couldn’t believe that 15 individuals were able to storm a bar that had 70 people inside,” Sharapov said. “But it’s very simple: there were fewer than 10 males at the bar. All the rest were young women, many of whom now don’t want or are afraid to contact law enforcement agencies.”