1 person in a coma, 1 in critical condition after anti-gay attack in Moscow
A group of young intruders stabbed four gay men in their Moscow apartment on Aug. 23 in what authorities labeled a hate crime, according to RIA Novosti.
The report said one victim is in critical condition and another is in a coma.
Organizers of banned Moscow Pride taking their case to European court
Organizers of Moscow’s first gay pride parade this past May are preparing a European Court of Human Rights case against the Russian Federation.
The small parade downsized to an attempt to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, then walk a few blocks for a rally across from City Hall was officially banned by city officials and then attacked by neofascists, skinheads, Christians and riot police.
On Aug. 22, Moscow’s Taganski district court ruled that the city’s Central Administrative District prefecture did not violate any laws in denying gays permission to picket in Lubyanka Square in lieu of marching. Earlier, the Tverskoi district court had upheld the city’s ban on a full-fledged parade.
Pride attorney Dmitri Bartenev called the new ruling “illegal,” saying peaceful pickets are permitted with simple notification to authorities that the action is going to take place.
Pride organizer Nikolai Alekseev said both rulings are being appealed to the Moscow City Court, the final Russian authority on the matter.
“In case our claims are not satisfied in Moscow City Court we will immediately send a complaint against Russian Federation to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,” Alekseev said.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has said he banned the march because Russia’s “morals are cleaner” than those of “the West.” He called the attempt to lay flowers a “desecration … a provocation [and] a contamination. People burst through and of course they beat them up,” he said.
Chinese government launches gay Web site to combat HIV
China’s government has launched a gay Web site cystd.com.cn to facilitate communication among gay men in hopes of increasing HIV awareness, the Xinhua news agency reported Aug. 21.
“Forum for Comrades” “comrade” is slang for “gay man” is run by the Disease Prevention and Control Center of Beijing’s Chaoyang District.
One chat room is strictly AIDS-related while two others aim at letting gays communicate with each other.
Amnesty International calls on Iraqi authorities to investigate murders of gays
Amnesty International said Aug. 10 that “gay men or men imputed to be gay” are being killed by Iraqi militias and security forces.
“According to a number of media reports, individuals thought to be gay have been singled out, attacked, and in some cases killed because of what the perpetrators consider their “‘immoral behavior,'” the organization said.
“Alleged perpetrators include militias and members of the Iraqi security forces such as the Wold Brigade, a special police unit which reports to Iraq’s Interior Ministry, and which has been accused of other abuses including detention and torture of Palestinian residents in Baghdad.”
Amnesty called on the Iraqi government to “promptly, thoroughly, impartially and independently investigate these killings and to ensure that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice.”
The organization also urged “all political, religious and community leaders in Iraq to condemn all civilian killings, regardless of the victim’s gender, race, ethnic background, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity, and to demand that their followers refrain from such killings and respect without discrimination the rights of all Iraqis.”
Executions of children, gays in Iran gets attention of British MPs
Some 138 members of Britain’s House of Commons signed an “early day motion” Aug. 23 condemning Iran’s executions of gay people.
Introduced by out Labour MP Chris Bryant, the motion says: “That this House commemorates the anniversary of the public hanging on 19th July 2005 of two gay teenage boys, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, in Mashad in Iran; notes that at the time of their alleged crimes the two boys were at most 17 years and possibly younger; further commemorates the hanging in Nekra in northern Iran on 15th August 2004 of a 16-year-old girl, Ateqeh Sahaleh, on charges of un-Islamic behavior; condemns these and all other Iranian executions of under-age minors, which are in direct contravention of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a signatory; notes that as many as 4,000 Iranians have been executed for their homosexuality since the Islamic Revolution in 1979; and calls on Iran to stop its campaign of torture, harassment and ill-treatment against gays and to end all executions of minors.”
The motion was surprising to some observers because international human-rights activists disagree and have argued at length publicly about whether Asgari and Marhoni were hanged for being boyfriends or for raping a boy, as has been claimed by government-influenced Iranian media. Among the organizations that have expressed skepticism over whether the two were executed for being gay are Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
The claim that a total of 4,000 Iranian gays have been executed since the revolution which has been put forth by gay Iranian exiles also is questioned by some activists, who have sought evidence for the assertion. All sides agree that Iran tortures, harasses and mistreats the nation’s gay population.
According to Britain’s Parliamentary Information Management Services, an early day motion “is a motion put down (“‘tabled’) by Members of Parliament calling for a debate on a particular subject.
Editorial assistance provided by Bill Kelley.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, August 25, 2006.