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Police ‘are accomplices’ in rape and killing of Russian gay activist

Police ‘are accomplices’ in rape and killing of Russian gay activist

The brutal killing of a young gay Russian has sparked international outrage.

The previously unidentified Vladislav Tornovoi, a 23 year-old gay rights activist, was found dead in an apartment complex in the southern city of Volgograd on Friday (10 May).

He was viciously tortured and then killed for coming out to his friends.

According to Moscow Times, the attackers  mutilated Tornovoi’s genitals and raped him with an empty beer bottle before setting his corpse on fire.

Two suspects, aged 22 and 27, have been arrested in connection with the case. One of the suspects confessed to torturing and killing Tornovoi because he was gay.

LGBT activists in the region are calling authorities ‘accomplices’ in the homophobic murder.

Nikolai Alexeyev, a leading gay rights activist, told the Moscow Times the victim’s sexuality was made public in order to cast him in a negative light.

‘By noting that the victim was gay, investigators wanted to portray him as someone abnormal and therefore expendable,’ he said.

‘Political figures have provoked anti-gay sentiment by portraying the gay community as a bunch of freaks, Alexeyev said.

‘They are accomplices in the killing.’

According to Alexeyev, anti-gay attacks are not classified as hate crimes in Russia.

Gay rights activist Nikolai Bayev took to website to blame Tornovoi’s death on President Vladimir Putin, Patriarch Kirill and Yelena Mizulina, a key figure in Russia’s gay gag law.

Bayev wrote: ‘President Putin, crush the head of Vladislav Tornovoi! Strip him until he’s naked. Break his ribs, beat his face and shove a bottle up his anus. Kill him, he’s just a gay.’

Alexeyev said LGBT rights activists are planning a memorial march on 25 May in Moscow to raise awareness of the brutal death. The demonstration would coincide with Russia’s 20th anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality.

‘Whether authorities grant permission or not, we’ll hold our parade,’ Alexeyev said.

‘Otherwise it looks like we’re accepting defeat, and we can’t allow that.