Smoke bomb at Russian #OpenGames basketball venue, swimming cancelled after bomb threat

Due to two bomb threats, Open Games events including basketball and swimming got cancelled in Moscow, Russia. At the basketball venue, black smoke filled the gymnasium. Reports state that the perpetrators appeared to be members of the Russian police forces.

This is not a first time the Open Games face challenges. Just several hours before the start of the launch, four sporting venues and the Hilton Hotel backed out of the initiative.

"It is far beyond attempts to disrupt events by homophobic groups, but a targeted and strong decision of the authorities to not let public LGBT events happen through exerting pressure on venue owners," according to Anastasia Smirnova.

The spokesperson for the coalition of organizations continued:

"Even one day before the event the organizers cannot be sure that homophobic groups do not attempt to threaten venues to cancel prior agreements. That their locations were not leaked to extremists and street thugs. That there won’t be bomb hoax calls – by example of St Petersburg’s Side by Side Film Festival. What the organizers are sure about, however, is that the event will take place despite all these risks, and that those who are coming to Moscow this week will be persistent and determined to make it happen – because they join not simply to compete, but to claim their rights and to work their way to greater openness."

 

The Open Games aim to promote LGBT equality in Russia. The propaganda laws limit the LGBT community in organizing and spread awareness of the inequality. Please visit glaad.org/Russia for more information.

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