Masked hooligans violently break-up LGBTQ activist meeting
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia -- Using baseball bats and air-pellet guns, a group of masked thugs forced their way into a meeting of LGBTQ equality rights activists Sunday, attacking those in attendance.
According to a St. Petersburg police official who confirmed the incident, one of the LGBTQ activists attending was shot in the eye by one of the assailants and sent to hospital. This was verified by another activist, Maria Markina, who had also been in attendance;
"One guy was shot in the eye. The bullet is still there. Doctors are not sure that they can save his eye."
The young man only identified as Chyzhevsky, wrote in a post late Sunday on the social network VK.com;
"I was hospitalized, a bullet was left inside my eye and Doctors said they will do the surgery but they said that there's a good chance that the eye will no longer see."
Activists told Russian language news portal Rosbalt that the LGBT event was to discuss upcoming protests. One of the other LGBTQ activists also in attendance, Anna Prutskova, wrote on VK.com that she received light injuries to her back during the incident, and confirmed reports that the attackers were carrying baseball bats in addition to the pellet guns.
Clashes between LGBTQ activists and anti-LGBTQ groups has become a frequent occurrence in the city, which was one of the first Russian municipalities to introduce controversial fines for "homosexual propaganda" to minors last year.
Viacheslav Revin, another Russian LGBTQ activist told LGBTQ Nation Monday;
"After the adoption of the local anti -gay law in St. Petersburg, I was sure that this was the beginning of a street war against the LGBT community in the city.I am shocked at what had happened , though , in principle, such an attack was predictable.
As always, the police did not want to do anything to stop the violence or prevent it. I am sure that the authorities either ignore this planned attack on the office of the organization, or make empty statements .
Anti-gay hysteria in Russia is gaining momentum and is convenient to the authorities of gay people's enemies. Instead, So people will think less of that cold in their apartments and make them worry about that the price of corn is growing very fast. Gay people are now scapegoats for problems."
The Kremlin maintains that the law, which has provoked international condemnation, is "designed to protect children, and does not prevent adults from making their own choices."
The problem, according to the Russian and global LGBTQ and Human Rights activist community, is that its vague wording and very intent leaves it open to interpretation that "gives licence" to anti-LGBTQ radicals to justify violence such as Sunday's event.