Six injured as ‘spy’ attacks Russian LGBT activists
Six LGBT activists have been injured during an alleged ‘acid’ attack in Moscow.
The activists had been attending the Fourth LGBTIQ+ Family Conference, a conference for LGBT+ people and academic specialists in the field.
The group of activists were leaving the conference when a man threw a liquid at the group and knocked several of them to the ground.
Police and medical staff attended the scene.
Although the substance has not been identified, initial reports believed it to be an acid of some kind.
Later reports claimed that the substance was similar to acetone, the highly flammable chemical used in some nail polish removers.
Activists and allies in Russia are now asking how the alleged attacker became aware of the existence and location of the conference.
Director of the Russian LGBT network Mikhail Tumasov told Gay Star News: “I believe there was a person – a spy – who pretended to be an LGBTI person to get the correct information about the event which was hidden from the public.”
“Unfortunately, these incidents happen very often and usually we have to bear in our minds many options like plan A, plan B etc (when planning events.)”
He continued: “Some people filed the incident to the police and we will see if any action will be done to follow this hate crime which for sure it is.”
LGBT+ people are widely persecuted in Russia, with a law introduced in 2013 against the ‘promotion of non-traditional values.’
Last year, Russian MPs called for football video game FIFA 17 to be banned because it allowed players to take part in the rainbow laces campaign.
Russia recently defended its ‘gay propaganda’ law after it was ruled a human rights violation against LGBT people.
The Russian LGBT network condemned the attack and called for the police to investigate the incident.
The network said in a statement: “We also believe that there should be no place for violence in the society.
“We express our support to the LGBT+ Moscow Resource Center and to the organizers of the Fourth Family LGBT+ Conference, and support the decision to postpone the event in order to ensure the safety of participants.”
Earlier this year, a Russian activist was fined for sharing Buzzfeed articles about LGBT issues.