Following passage of a law prohibiting
“gay propaganda” in 2013, hate crimes against sexual minorities
in Russia have reportedly doubled.
Passage of the law provoked worldwide
condemnation and calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics at Sochi.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin, prohibits the public
promotion of LGBT rights where minors might be present, effectively
banning Pride marches and similar demonstrations.
According to the St. Petersburg-based
Center for Independent Social Research, 200 of the 250 crimes
analyzed were murders.
“[Offenders] have become more
aggressive and less fearful,” Svetlana Zakharova of Russian LGBT
Reuters. “It seems to them that, to some extend, the
government supports their actions. Many perpetrators openly talk
about their crimes as noble deeds.”
The number of reported anti-LGBT hate
crimes increased from 18 in 2010 to 65 in 2015. Most of the victims
were gay men. Researchers based their findings on court records and
data from judicial watchdog RosPravosudie.
Passage of the law was seen by many as
a move by Putin to draw closer to the powerful Russian Orthodox
Church, which is vocally opposed to LGBT rights.