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It is based on 94 interviews with LGBT people and activists from 16 cities and towns in Russia.LGBT people and activists described the types of abuse they were subjected to and the obstacles they encounter when they seek redress.Twenty-two victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch told us they developed anxiety and became depressed as a result of the attacks.Others said they stayed at home because they were too frightened to go outside.Aside from several isolated investigations, the authorities have done little to hold assailants accountable.Instead of publicly denouncing anti-LGBT violence and rhetoric, Russia’s leadership has remained silent.
At least two of the attackers in these cases were convicted, but their sentences did not correspond to the gravity of harm suffered by victims.
Not a single case documented in this report was investigated as a hate crime.
Police treat most homophobic attacks as common crime, such as hooliganism or assault and battery.
Police consistently fail to take adequate measures to prevent or redress the harassment and attacks.
Human Rights Watch documented seven cases in which vicious smear campaigns sought to pressure LGBT people or supporters of LGBT rights to resign from their jobs as educators in schools, universities, or community centers for children.