Nov 14, 2013

Pro-LGBT activist dead

Pro-LGBT activist dead, multiple casualties as Russian forces confront peaceful demonstration.

By Peter Mørch Groth

A peaceful assembly of an estimated 500 pro-LGBT activists turned grim the evening of Tuesday 12th. At 7.00pm the peaceful demonstration came to an abrupt end as 150 policemen carrying body armour and riot shields confronted the protestors. The confrontation had fatal results as one civilian protestor succumbed to the overwhelming violence exerted by the Russian forces. A 20-year old female protestor’s vitals remain critical due to damage to the internal organs and severe lesions. Several other protestors’ vitals are equally unstable. 

The activists were expressing their repugnance towards the new laws regarding the privileges, or lack thereof, of homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender-affiliated individuals while also condemning the violations suffered by the hands of “Putin’s henchmen”. The demonstration began the afternoon of Tuesday at 6.00pm and was terminated at the intervention of the authorities at around 7.00pm MSK, Moscow Standard Time.

This portrayal of Russian police brutality does not stand alone. Similar incidences occurred mere weeks prior to this collision where one female activist lost her life. The Moscow Police is consistently experiencing heavy criticism as a direct result of their regular misuse of physical power against pro-human rights protestors. Several major organisations including ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association) and Amnesty International are correspondingly criticizing The Moscow Police and have already condemned the episode as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin for his neglect of intervention. 

“Several units of armoured forces have successfully intervened the illegal gathering of anti-government aggressors and political terrorists,” as acting police chief of the Moscow Police, Anatoly Yakunin, expressed in a public statement the morning of Wednesday 13th.  The fatal violation accompanied by this controversial statement has led to widespread criticism of the Russian authorities’ means of managing otherwise peaceful demonstrations and has once again directed the centre of international attention towards Russia’s disregard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

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