Gay club attacked by Moscow mob

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An anti-LGBT attack took place in Moscow when a mob of around one hundred people raided Moscow’s most popular gay club, Central Station. Reports indicate that the club’s roof was “dismantled” and equipment was stolen, according to the owner of the building.

“The building was seized by a professional raiding company that served the interests of unknown foreign legal entities that ordered multiple illegal actions against LGBT visitors of the club,” its owner, Andrei Lishchinsky, wrote in an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lishchinsky’s letter reviews a list of other anti-LGBT inspired crimes which led up to the attack of the Club on the morning of December 14. Lishchinsky also demanded that the raid be formally investigated.

According to Queer Russia’s translation, the letter states, “On the morning of December 14, 2013 about a hundred people took over the attic space of the Club for a few hours [and]with the connivance of the police have completely dismounted the roof of the building, wrecked and stolen numerous engineering equipment which was used for the Club’s normal functioning.”

The letter also lists other attacks on the Club, which hosts hundreds of LGBT visitors on a given night:

“On October 29 , November 01, 22, 23 , 29, 30, December 7 and 13, 2013 an unknown gas was repeatedly sprayed from a room neighboring the Club. The maximum concentration of the unknown gas each time was detected directly in the ballroom of the Club at the moment when there were more than 500 guests present at the same time.”

Thanks to the Club’s staff, no visitors were poisoned and the Club’s protection strategy proved effective.

The letter also informs the president of an incident which took place on November 16, where armed intruders attempted to open fire on the club-goers. After threats of harm were directed to the Club’s staff, the security guards managed to stop the intruders from entering the building.

Lishchinsky ends his open letter by asking the president to conduct a formal investigation of this matter.

“Given your public statements regarding the rights of people with non-traditional sexual orientation in Russia, we ask you to instruct the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service of Russia and Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to consider this open letter, to identify those responsible for inaction in law enforcement authorities and take measures to protect the security of both visitors and operation of Russia’s largest leisure center for LGBT people.”

In the letter, Lishchinsky explains that he has filed over thirty complaints with the police but the authorities have been unresponsive.

“Despite clear signs of crimes and evidence from witnesses, those responsible for organisation and execution of crimes were not identified, and by results of the formal checks a decision was made against initiation of criminal proceedings,” he writes.

Since President Putin instigated laws banning “homosexual propaganda,” LGBT hate crimes, which are not legally recognized as such, have been on the rise in Russia.

429Magazine

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