Lene Christensen, Media Advisor at Amnesty International Norway, blog from Sochi, Russia
At a café in Sochi, 17-year-old “Ivan” quietly talks about his experiences as an openly gay young man in the Olympic city. A city in which there are no gay people, according to the Mayor.
Ivan has a disturbing story to tell. After someone hacked his social media account about a year ago, news quickly spread about his sexual orientation.
When he changed schools, the information about his sexuality again spread like wildfire among his new schoolmates. Now, a regular day at school includes being spat on and verbally abused, he tells us. He’s been physically attacked several times and some unknown attackers poured dirty water and urine on him. One time they went as far as attempting to rape him. His voice breaks as he recounts his almost daily ordeal.