Russia: LGBT group seeks police protection from harassment
Representatives of an LGBT group turned to the police because of threats and harassment
Since 8 August the LGBT Initiative Group Stimul has been subject to threats and harassment on Instagram.
The group is certain the abuse they are receiving comes from subscribers of a homophobic Telegram channel, where information about Stimul and three of their employees had previously been published.
The original post published on the Telegram channel included a link to the LGBT group’s Instagram page, as well as the personal pages of two employees and Artem Lapov, a lawyer working alongside Stimul.
Ekaterina Svetashkova, the deputy director of Stimul, and Lapov have reported the abuse to the police. They demand charges be brought against their harassers, citing Article 119 of the Criminal Code (threat of murder or causing serious harm to health).
“We will certainly inform you how the police respond to the actions of this so-called movement, which violates the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens”, noted the organisation.
In 2015, Stimul opened the first legal aid service for LGBT people and their families in Moscow. The organisation’s lawyers provide free consultations to those who have been subject to threats and discrimination due to their sexual orientation, aid them in drawing up documents, and represent the applicants’ interests in government agencies.
The organisation also employs psychologists. They help LGBT people, non-binary people, and their loved ones cope with mental health issues. Migrants can also apply for assistance. If a person requires emergency care, they can contact the Emergency Assistance Fund programme.
The group conducts training, seminars, webinars and internships for LGBT organisations and activists. Every year Stimul collects data on crimes faced by LGBT people.