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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 7 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 06
Conviction in Russian Gay murder
Section One
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Conviction in Russian Gay murder

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Russian court has convicted three men of murdering another man they believed to be Gay.

According to BBC News, the killers lured their victim to a remote forest in Kamchatka - a peninsula in Russia's extreme northeast - where they stabbed and kicked him to death. They then put the body in a car and set it on fire in an attempt to conceal the crime.

The murder took place in May 2013.

A statement on the Kamchatka chief prosecutor's website said investigators established that the three committed the murder 'out of personal hatred, based on their conviction that their fellow villager's sexual orientation was non-traditional.'

BBC adds that, 'It is unusual for Russian prosecutors to acknowledge homophobia as a motive for an attack.'

The court handed down jail terms of 12-and-a-half years, 10-and-a-half years, and nine years, to be served in a harsh-regime penal colony.

The perpetrators were convicted for premeditated murder, but not for committing a hate crime.

LGBT rights in Russia have become an international issue in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, which begin February 8.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied anti-Gay prejudice, and Russian authorities seem willing to convict the most egregious anti-Gay criminals.

Maksim 'The Cleaver' Martsinkevich, for example, was recently remanded to Russian custody and has begun serving a three-year prison sentence for kidnapping and torturing Gay men. Martsinkevich fled to Cuba in November but was arrested by Cuban authorities and returned to Russia in January.

On the other hand, Human Rights Watch released videos on February 3 showing Gay men being attacked and beaten by homophobic vigilantes in the Martsinkevich mold.

'As the host to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which begin on February 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia should act in accordance with the principle of nondiscrimination, a core provision of the Olympic Charter,' Human Rights Watch said in a statement. 'As a member of the Council of Europe, and party to multiple human rights treaties, it should meet its obligations to provide equal respect and protection for LGBT people.

'The Russian authorities have the power to protect the rights of LGBT people, but instead they are ignoring their responsibility to do so. By turning a blind eye to hateful homophobic rhetoric and violence, Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people.'

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