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Attack on Russian HIV/AIDS group


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Anastasia Smirnova, a member of the Russian LGBT Network, sent an email to LGBT advocates informing them that two men attacked members of LaSky, a Russian HIV/AIDS association. The two men were wearing ski masks and carrying air guns and baseball bats when they attacked the members of the group who were having a social gathering. Smirnova reported that the police arrived, but they "left right away" since "they saw no evidence of a crime". Russian news site, Fontanka, was able to confirm the attack with a Russian Interior Ministry official. Two people were injured in the attack.

The attack took place against the backdrop of ongoing outrage over Russia’s LGBT rights record ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics that will take place in Sochi, Russia, in February.

President Vladimir Putin in June signed a broadly worded law that bans gay propaganda to minors. A second statute that bans foreign same-sex couples and any couple from a country in which gays and lesbians can legally marry from adopting Russian children took effect in July.

“It is hard to imagine how people can be welcomed equally regardless of sexual orientation when such a law… is in place,” Smirnova told reporters during an Oct. 29 conference call the LGBT advocacy group All Out hosted.

The Washington Blade has more on the attack.

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