The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is coming under fire once again for not taking action against Russia’s sweeping anti-LGBT laws after a Moscow gay bar was targeted for a fourth time, in a coordinated gas attack.
The Central Station bar was still recovering from two weeks earlier when armed men opened fire in front of the club spraying bullets into the crowd and building, luckily harming no one, but the latest attack caused several bar patrons to seek medical attention.
On November 23rd, the assailants sprayed what is being called a “harmful gas” into the gay club which caused the management to immediately turn on a set of fans used to clear smoke. There were approximately 500 people in the bar at the time of the incident.
“Today is the fourth provocation against the club arranged by unknown persons,” said the club’s general director Andrey Leschinsky. “We believe that they are connected with the building owner. They are spraying the gas inside the club premises, thereby trying to express their extremist views against LGBT community, which likes to visit our club.”
Since the passing of sweeping “anti-propaganda” laws this year in Russia that make it a crime to openly support gay rights, marriage equality, or even come out, the LGBT community in the country has seen a steady and shocking rise in violent crime.
Dozens of gay men across Russia have fallen victim to online vigilantes that lure unsuspecting chatters into public on the premise of a date or friendship, who are then kidnapped, assaulted, beaten, and terrorized in videos that are posted to Russian social media sites.
In one brazen daylight attack, a Russian trans woman was beaten by numerous vigilantes on a public street and left to fend for herself as witnesses and passersby did nothing to stop the vicious assault.
With only 72 days left until the opening ceremonies of the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia the global LGBT community and its supporters are once again calling on the IOC to publicly condemn the country’s anti-LGBT laws and take action against the violence and persecution that is happening and tarnishing the Olympic name.
The question is, are the members of the IOC even listening any more.
This article originally appeared on the Liberal America website.
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- Russia: Gay club attacked with ‘harmful gas’ by unknown assailants (pinknews.co.uk)
- Shooting At Moscow Gay Club Central Station Rattles Russia’s LGBT Community (huffingtonpost.com)
- Russia Freedom Fund Launches to Support LGBT Activists (queerty.com)
- Attacks on Moscow Gay Club Continue (advocate.com)
- Gay club attack in Mascow (vega242.wordpress.com)
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