by vz

by vz

Attack in St. Petersburg over “lesbian appearance"

15 Dec, 2019

by vz

It is well known that the situation in Russia when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights isn’t the best. Ever since Russia banned “gay propaganda” in 2013, a study has shown that at least 149 people suffered homophobic attacks in the city in 2018, including 62 who were attacked on the street.

Sadly, the latest incident happened on the 11th of December, a group of seven men attacked and beat an 18-year-old girl in St. Petersburg after insulting her over her “lesbian appearance”.

Yekaterina Lysikh, who is 18, was attacked and beaten by a group of men who had pursued her and her three friends into a café after harassing them on the street. They also tried to take their belongings. Alina, a girl who was with Yekaterina said that they were insulting them with very harsh and homophobic language because the girls in her friend group have an “untypical” appearance. Alina further says that they started to call them degrading names that were tied to homosexuality. They ended up following them into the café, where the seven men decided to attack them.

A video posted by the Baza Telegram channel shows Yekaterina running up to the group of men before being punched in the face and falling to the ground.
Lysikh was reportedly beaten after she stood up for one of her friends, who was punched by the men while trying to get out her pepper spray. The victim filed a police report over the incident while in the hospital with a concussion and bruises.

On the 12th of December, Baza reported that police had detained and charged three males, aged 16 to 19, because they believe that they were the ones who attacked Lysikh. They had said that they didn’t like how Yekaterina was holding hands with a friend and that they didn’t like her physical appearance. Yekaterina posted on Twitter about the attack that had happened to her earlier this week. Her friend told reporters that she was faced with a lot of criticism from men on the internet. They questioned her story and made her feel like she was the one to blame for the attack. However, Yekaterina also received a lot of messages of support from all over the world, along with some donations which will help finance for the treatment that she needs. People from all over the world are wishing her a speedy recovery and sending her words of encouragement. For this incident, it’s not important what Yekaterina’s sexual orientation is. This is a prime example of lesbophobia, and an example of prejudice and pure hate.

According to Igor Kochetkov of the St. Petersburg-based LGBT-Network, the attack is indicative of prevalent attitudes toward LGBT people in Russia.
He told the Moscow Times: “Because they are an excluded group, some people in our society think they don’t have rights and comments that say the violence was justified are common.”

It is high time that something is done about these kinds of attacks.