The Russian authorities must promptly find and bring to justice all those responsible for a violent homophobic attack in St Petersburg that has left two people injured, including one who has been left blind in one eye, Amnesty International said.
According to local activists in St Petersburg, on Sunday night two masked men brandishing air guns and baseball bats attacked the office of LaSky, a non-governmental organization that provides support to gay people living with HIV.
“This latest insidious attack is sadly characteristic of a widespread atmosphere of homophobia in Russia today. If nothing is done to combat the hate, the ground is fertile for further violence,” said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
“The Russian authorities must seek out, investigate and prosecute all those responsible for these violent attacks. Russian President Putin has publicly said the country would welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists at the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, but such pledges ring hollow in the face of these ongoing hate crimes.”