A neo-Nazi group in Russia has apparently enacted a disturbing campaign against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth by allegedly using a popular social network to lure in victims and torture them.
The Spectrum Human Rights Alliance (SHRA), an LGBT rights group focusing on Eastern Europe, claims the campaigns — called “Occupy Pedophilyaj” and “Occupy Gerontilyaj” — were launched by former skinhead and Russian ultranationalist Maxim Martsinkevich to purportedly identify and report pedophiles. However, the group’s method may be to target male teens who respond to same-sex personals ads on Russia’s Facebook equivalent, VK.com. Group members are said to meet the boys when they show up for the supposed date; they bully the boys and even torture them, all while recording the encounters on camera.
“These self-proclaimed ‘crime fighters’ perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them,” writes SHRA on its website. “Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized.”
SHRA points to a YouTube video showing a group of young people allegedly connected with this movement who are seen interrogating a teen boy at what appears to be a housing compound, according to a translation by The Huffington Post.
The group approaches the teen and asks him if he had come there to meet someone named “Uncle Dima.” Then they bring him over to a bench and continue the interrogation. They ask why he was there to meet Dima and the boy admits he is there to have sex, possibly for money. Although the group members mock him, they are friendly at times, and the teen is willing to admit things about himself and his sexual preference. He says who he is, where he’s from, what school he goes to and that he is 15 years old.
Toward the end of the video the aggression heightens. At one point, one person who stepped slightly out of frame and appeared to urinate into a bottle, attempts to pour the contents of the bottle onto the teen’s head. Another kicks the teen. Then the video cuts off.
(Watch the interrogation below.)
Earlier this month, Russian online newspaper Lenta met with those who have joined the “Occupy-Pedofilyay” campaign to learn more about the movement.
“We do not like homosexuals,” the leader of one local gathering explained, according to a HuffPost translation. “If it was up to me, I’d kill them but the government doesn’t allow that.”
“I think practically all gay men — pedophiles,” he later explained. “Once you’ve crossed over once, you can cross over again. Today he likes boys, and then it’ll be children. They’re not suitable for life in society.”
Anti-gay sentiments across the nation have made headlines recently. Just weeks ago, President Vladimir Putin signed into law the so-called “homosexual propaganda” bill, which imposes fines upon people found guilty of sharing information about homosexuality to minors. This week, four Dutch tourists were jailed under this law.