Researchers have found that crimes against Russia’s LGBTI community have doubled since the introduction of the country’s homophobic “gay propaganda” law.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, bans the public representation of LGBTI people to children, effectively outlawing pride marches and similar demonstrations across the country.
And the law has seen a sharp spike in violent attacks on the community, according to research reported by Reuters.
The Centre for Independent Social Research looked at 250 crimes, 200 of which were acts of murder, and found the number of sentences for crimes against LGBTI people had soared from 18 in 2010 to 65 in 2015.
Most of the victims were gay men, and according to researchers the figures were low because the climate of homophobia meant many more crimes had not been reported or investigated.
“[Perpetrators] have become more aggressive and less fearful,” the Russian LGBT Network’s Svetlana Zakharova told Reuters.
“It seems to them that, to some extent, the government supports their actions.
“Many perpetrators openly talk about their crimes as noble deeds.”
The researchers based the findings on court records and data from judicial watchdog RosPravosudie.
The Russian LGBT Network have been working to rescue men suspected of being gay who have been detained and tortured in secret prisons in the Russian region of Chechnya.
The group said last month the so-called “gay purge” was continuing despite global outcry and repeated denials from Chechen and Russian authorities that gay men were being targeted.
The group said since March this year more than 150 people had contacted them for assistance, 79 had fled Chechnya and 53 people had reached safety outside of Russia.
(Photo by Maria Joner/Wikimedia Commons)