Eurovision star suffers homophobic attack by police in Moscow airport
A Eurovision song contest entrant has spoken out about being the victim of a homophobic attack at the hands of police in a Moscow airport.
Hovi Star, Israel’s 2016 Eurovision entrant, had travelled to Russia to promote his single ‘Made of Stars’, but said he was the victim of an attack by police.
Star says passport control officers and police ripped up his passport when he went through the airport.
Speaking during an interview with Maltese television, Star said: “Maybe people in Moscow have a rough time with people like me, maybe because I’m gay, maybe because I dress like this, maybe because I wear make-up, I don’t know.
“But when I wanted to get into Moscow, I had problems with passport control. They told me I can’t go in, they looked at my passport, they ripped my passport. It’s amazing that this happened in the Eurovision bubble because my song Made of Stars it talks about equality it talks about how everybody is the same, everybody was born the same, everybody will die the same.
“Let’s take this as a lesson. I don’t take it personally, I really like Sergei Lazarov and I like Russia. This wasn’t a nice experience, we live, we learn, we continue, we smile and we give free love to everyone.”
The allegations have not been commented on by Moscow airport.
He had been allowed into Russia in order to continue his Eurovision promotion tour, but said he had to go to the Israeli Consulate in Moscow to get a new passport.
The singer is expected to reach the final of the competition which takes place on 14 May in Stockholm.
But Russia’s entrant Sergey Lazarov is currently the favourite to win the competition.
The allegations against the Russian police come as the country passed an anti-gay law in 2013, which banned the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations”.
Since it was signed by President Putin, it has led to a rise in the number of anti-LGBT attacks across the country amid growing anti-gay sentiments.
The country was expelled less than a month before the competition is due to start because its national broadcaster, TVR, had failed to maintain payments to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), who organise the contest.