On April 29, at the Sakharov Center, human rights activists from the Stimul organization presented the results of monitoring violence and discrimination against LGBT people in Moscow and the Moscow Region for 2017-2018.
In 2017, human rights defenders registered 29 cases of “discrimination, crimes and human rights violations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics”. In 2018, they were 26. They note that they have recently been faced with increasing manifestations of labor discrimination, violations of the right to privacy, compulsory reparative therapy, and threats of deprivation of parental rights.
In the two years studied in the report, activists learned about 24 attacks based on homophobia and transphobia, 14 of them with the use of physical violence. At the same time, according to their testimony, the homophobic motif is rarely taken into account during the consideration of hate crimes cases – LGBT people are not recognized as a social group because of the taboo issues of gender and sexual orientation, which impedes fair trial, the AIDS Center notes.
Only a third of victims of homophobic violence turn to the police. In the case of dummy dates, 1 out of 10. While this is one of the most frequent forms of attacks on homosexuals.
Of the 1890 respondents who participated in the Stimulus study on dummy dates, every fifth responded that he had come across them. It is noteworthy that in 2017 all such incidents took place in dummy apartments, but in 2018 one attack happened in the victim’s apartment, and three on the street, including one at a gas station, where the victim was shoved into a car.
In 2017, Stimul documented six cases of violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Moscow, in 2018 two. For example, for two years in a row, the Family LGBT + Conference, which was held by the Center for Social-Psychological and Cultural Projects “Resource LGBTKIA Moscow”, was attacked. Gas sprays were used in both attacks, and the victims received eye burns.
For the demonstration of rainbow symbols, at least two people were put on preventive registration. Both appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, demanding that they be deregistered, but have not received any answers so far.
For many people who do not fit into the framework of the “traditional” way of life, discrimination and hatred are everyday. And the violation of their rights can be manifested in any areas of life. Unfortunately, most of these cases will remain secret, because people are sure that law enforcement agencies will most likely not protect them or even worsen the situation, activists say.
To change the current situation, human rights defenders call for the adoption of anti-discrimination legislation, to ensure effective investigation of hate crimes against LGBT people (and start collecting statistics on them), to recognize queer people as a social group, to ensure their right to express their opinions, take measures to protect their labor rights and develop programs of legal and psychological assistance to the victims.