Russia: Ringleader of gang that ‘hunts’ gay people has prison sentence reduced
The leader of a Russian gang which hunts, tortures and humiliates gay men has had his prison sentence reduced by a court.
Maxim Martsinkevich, known as Tesak (Machete), is the head of Occupy Paedophilia – which is notorious for posting videos in which his group ‘captures’ gay men, often shaving their heads or forcing them to simulate oral sex.
Though the group claims to only target paedophiles, Channel 4 documentary Hunted showed their practice of ‘capturing’ gay men who were looking for sex with consenting adults.
The notorious anti-gay activist was arrested in Cuba in January, after attempting to evade an arrest warrant – not for his extensively-documented role in torturing gays, but for inciting ethnic and religious hatred during a race riot.
In August this year he was sentenced to five years in a labour camp over the incident, but this week he successfully appealed to have the sentence reduced.
The court agreed to cut his prison time to less than three years, because there were supposedly no “casualties” as a result of his comments.
Disturbingly, Martsinkevich has over 132,000 fans on his account on Russian social network VKontakte.
He said: “As a gay man, I’ve always felt so welcome here in Russia. Stories of Russian fans – men and women who fell in love dancing to Nikita, or their kids who sing along to Circle Of Life – mean the world to me.
“If I’m not honest about who I am, I couldn’t write this music. It’s not gay propaganda. It’s how I express life. If we start punishing people for that, the world will lose its humanity.”