Russian Riot Police Raid Gay Bars 

Russian Riot Police Raid Gay Bars 
Image: Image: Unsplash

Russia riot police raiding another local gay bar over last weekend.  This incident occurred less than two weeks after Russia’s supreme court ruled ‘international LGBT public movement’ as extremist and outlawed LGBTQ+ activism throughout the conservative country.

Footage shared on Saturday by local news outlet, shows riot officers entering a bar and stopping music while turning on the lights. 

The LGBTQI club Fame is based in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city. In the video officers can be heard yelling at club patrons and a dozen bar staff leaving the venue. 

Less than 48 hours after Russia’s supreme court ruling, Russian police conducted raids on gay bars in Moscow where they allegedly inspected and photographed identification documents of club goers.

Police Raid Clubs, Sauna

According to Associated Press, local media reported police searching venues across the Russian capital, including a nightclub, a male sauna, and a bar that hosted LGBTQI parties, under the pretext of a drug raid. 

The recent raids are part of a persistent crackdown on LGBTQI rights in the country, spanning decades, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who has been vocal about maintaining “traditional values”.  

According to Russian law, individuals found guilty of participating in or financing extremism could face up to 12 years in prison, as stated by the international advocacy group Human Rights Watch. Critics view this ruling as essentially prohibiting any organized advocacy for LGBTQI rights.

According to a statement from Human Rights Watch, authorities can include individuals suspected of affiliating with an extremist organisation in the nationwide “list of extremists” and freeze their bank accounts. Furthermore, individuals deemed to be associated with an extremist organisation face restrictions, including being barred from running for public office.

Shut Up Or Else…

Associate Europe and Central Asia director of Human Rights Watch Tanya Lokshina condemned the Russian court  ruling.

“The authorities’ move apparently serves a dual purpose. It is meant to increase the scapegoating of LGBT people to appeal to the Kremlin’s conservative supporters before the March 2024 presidential vote and to paralyse the work of rights groups countering discrimination and supporting LGBT people,” Lokshina said.  

Lokshina emphasised the continued undermining of LGBTQI rights in Russia, calling police raids on gay bars “particularly extreme” in an interview last week, according to NBC news

“They’re not going to go after each and every LGBT person who exhibits their sexual orientation but they’re going to go after some people — which will make it clear to everyone else — that you have to shut up or else, because that’s the way the Russian government operates,” Lokshina added.

You May Also Like

Comments are closed.