Russia: 16 people hospitalised following gas attack at QueerFest culture festival
16 people were hospitalised following an attack on an LGBT culture festival in St Petersburg.
Anti-gay activists attacked the International Queer Culture Festival earlier this month, spraying participants with a ‘putrid gas’.
The event, which had already been forced out of its original venue at the last minute, had over 160 attendees when it was raided by homophobic thugs.
Organisers have now revealed that people who were sprayed with the gas – which is yet to be identified – were left unable to breathe, with 16 seeking medical help.
They also report that one of the events was also disrupted by a bomb threat, while a press conference titled ‘Who is Shutting Down QueerFest?’ was ironically shut down by police because “violations of public order may ensue”.
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Organiser Polina Andrianova said previously “About 20 hooligans sprayed guests with green substance and some sort of putrid gas.
“At one point, two foreign guests were being pulled into the venue by the security while being pulled out by their feet by the perpetrators.
“The police, who carried themselves professionally, were taking numerous statements by the victims, while St Petersburg ombudsman urged more people to document violations.”
The event continued in spite of the attacks, however.
Polina Andrianova added: “We feel exhausted and exhilarated. Thanks to the work of 40 volunteers, partners, and random kindness by strangers and by passers, our event was a success.
“People – their rights – but also their light and kindness, is what our festival is all about. And there are more of them around us every day. That is why we will prevail”