LONDON – A new British television documentary that aired Wednesday chronicles the violent homophobic attacks on LGBTQ Russians as that nation readies for the Friday opening ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The documentary is titled “Hunted,” after remarks made by one of the film's subjects, Dmitry Chizhevsky, who was beaten up and shot in the eye during an attack on the LGBTQ community center in St. Petersburg last November. “It’s like a hunting season,” he says. “And we are the hunted.”
British freelance investigative journalist Liz MacKean- who produced the documentary- noted;
“The LGBT community in Russia has been turned into public enemy number one and the fact is they are hunted, they are assaulted, they are humiliated.”
The focus of the film is on the anti-gay vigilante violent extremist groups “Parents of Russia” and “Occupy Pedophilia,” which many LGBTQ equality rights activists and advocacy groups allege were given a free licence to pursue anti-gay animus and attacks by the law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality – passed last June by the Russian Duma and signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The law clearly encouraged hostility towards gays,” said MacKean. “The LGBT community is being squeezed from the forces above by the government that passed the law, by comments from Putin, like saying that gay people are welcome in Sochi if they leave the children alone… its creating such a direct connection between pedophilia and homosexuality.”
The Human Rights Watch has also released a YouTube video compilation of clips Tuesday that detailed that those group's homophobic violence.
“What we see in those video are criminal offenses happening in the context of complete impunity,” said Human Rights Watch Russian expert Tanya Cooper. “There is total failure on the part of Russia’s law enforcement to prosecute attack against LGBT people."WATCH the Trailer: