Target: Russian President Vladimir Putin
Goal: Prosecute violent attacks against homosexuals in Russia.
Vicious attacks on homosexuals have been reported and videotaped in Russia in recent years, and the Russian authorities are not taking it seriously. According to Tanya Cooper of Human Rights Watch, much of this violence is taking place in the wake of the anti-propaganda law, legislation that bans the distribution of information on nontraditional relationships to minors. In one of the most horrifying cases of abuse, a group known as Occupy Pedophilia, which equates homosexuality with pedophilia, was alleged to have set up fake dates for homosexual men, luring them into a nightmarish ordeal. These events were frequently filmed and posted to YouTube. In one video, a man is thrown to the ground, kicked, and beaten.
The Russian government is complicit in these crimes. According to Human Rights Watch, police frequently arrest LGBT rights activists, but they don’t take any serious measures to prosecute violent acts against homosexuals. Furthermore, the anti-propaganda law makes it pretty clear that homosexuals are second-class citizens in the eyes of the Russian authorities. This makes it easier for young thugs to justify the harassment and abuse of homosexuals. One man reports that after he was assaulted, he went to the police to report the incident, but the police nonchalantly blew off his report. They told him that the attack was normal, and that he need not submit a complaint.
Please sign this petition to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to push for the prosecution of these types of crimes.
Dear Mr. Putin,
Violence against homosexuals seems to be on the rise in your country, and I would like to see police impose a crackdown on these types of crimes. Much of this violence seems to be motivated by the anti-propaganda law, which prevents citizens from disseminating information on homosexuality to minors. Even with this law in place, violence against homosexuals is never justified. Human Rights Watch reports that even though activists in favor of LGBT rights are often arrested, violent acts against homosexuals are rarely investigated. This is an unacceptable breakdown of law and order.
In one horrifying incident, a group known as Occupy Pedophilia lured gay men into their clutches before harassing and physically abusing them. In a video, a man is seen having his hair shaved off. Mr. Putin, regardless of the Russian government’s stance on homosexual relationships, physical abuse is unacceptable. Law enforcement officers in Russia are blatantly ignoring these crimes.
I ask that you do everything in your power to put an end to these assaults, and to prosecute the individuals involved.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Les Chatfield via Flickr