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Thread: Gays face blackmail and extortion in Russia

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    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Gays face blackmail and extortion in Russia

    Article is from June, but I just came across it, and it is very interesting:

    Russian crime gangs find gays easy targets for blackmail
    By Associated PressJun 05, 2016



    BY VERONIKA SILCHENKO and IRINA TITOVA

    ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Criminal gangs in Russia, operating through gay dating sites, have found a lucrative new blackmail target: homosexual men.

    A St. Petersburg economist, one of their latest victims, said several men burst into the apartment where he was meeting his date. Claiming that his date was under age, they threatened to call the police and to release a video they had secretly filmed unless he paid up.

    The gay rights group Vykhod, or Coming Out, said they registered 12 such attacks in St. Petersburg in 2015 and at least six more gay men have come to them so far this year. LGBT activists believe the real number is far higher and say the attacks have increased in the past two years.

    Since homosexuality finds little acceptance in Russian society, many gays keep their sexual orientation hidden from their families, friends and co-workers. This makes them easy extortion targets for criminals.

    Vykhod spokeswoman Nika Yuryeva said most of the recent attacks have followed the same pattern as the one seen by the St. Petersburg economist.

    Alexander Loza, a legal adviser at Positive Dialogue, an organization that provides consulting services for gays, particularly those living with the HIV virus, has heard similar stories.

    “Many gay people in Russia lead a double life, unwilling to disclose their sexual orientation to their family or at work,” Loza said. “In the case of such setup dates, they are afraid to disclose their status, to be accused of pedophilia, and therefore they are afraid to appeal to the police.”

    The activists said Russian criminals have been emboldened by a 2013 law that made it a crime to expose children to gay “propaganda,” part of a Kremlin-backed effort to defend traditional family values and counter the influence of what it considers a decadent West.

    Alexander Zhelezkin, who manages outreach programs at Positive Dialogue, said the law was what made him decide to become a gay activist.

    “Now, my coming out is my defense,” he said.

    For prominent television journalist Anton Krasovsky, however, that move ended his career in Russia. He was fired after he came out on the air in 2013 and hasn’t been able to find a job in television since.

    Krasovsky said it will be a long time before gays in Russia feel protected enough to speak publicly about their sexual orientation.

    “To stop being afraid, they need to begin to trust the state where they live, but they don’t trust the state where they live now,” he said.

    The St. Petersburg economist, however, did go to the police. He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity out of fear that his attackers, who know where he lives, would seek retribution if they learned that he had reported them.

    The economist, who gave his age as “about 30,” said he thought they were lying about his date being a minor. But he said the attackers beat and threatened him — and suggested they had friends in the police force who they said would lock him up on fabricated charges.

    He said they demanded more than 100,000 rubles ($1,500). One of them took his bank card and cleaned out his account, and they released him only after he agreed to transfer the balance the next day, he said.

    The crime gangs who carry out such attacks are not necessarily anti-gay, but have identified a profitable niche where they feel they can operate with impunity, Loza and Yuryeva said.

    The economist agreed.

    “They commit these crimes not because they are homophobes — they are simply taking advantage of the situation,” knowing that few people would go to the police after such an experience, he said. “I think they are just common criminals who chose this kind of method.”

    St. Petersburg police spokesman Vyacheslav Stepchenko said he had not heard about these blackmail cases and said he wasn’t aware of any anti-gay attacks being registered in the city in recent years.

    He offered to check with the specific police station that the economist reported the crime to, but the economist didn’t want to draw public attention to his case by disclosing which station it was.

    Timur Bulatov, an anti-gay activist who claims to have helped get a number of teachers fired after outing them as homosexuals, said he sees no need to resort to the blackmail used by criminal gangs.

    “Why attack a sick person? Such a person needs treatment,” he said. “I have a bunch of legal methods to use to influence such a person, to put pressure on him.”

    Bulatov, who wears camouflage outfits and carries a handgun in a hip holster, said gays are the “enemies” of Russian society and its children, but should be opposed only through legal means.

    He said the law banning gay propaganda among minors was intentionally made vague so it can be applied in a wide range of circumstances. The law, for instance, has made it easy to target gay and lesbian teachers in Russia because they work directly with children.

    The federal law was modeled on a 2012 St. Petersburg law authored by Vitaly Milonov, a city lawmaker and outspoken opponent of LGBT rights.

    “This law is a preventive measure. It was introduced not to punish anyone, but to prevent such public actions as gay parades, because parents in Russia don’t want their children to see these things,” Milonov told the AP.

    Milonov, who has a large portrait of the Russian Orthodox Church patriarch on his office wall, said his mission was to promote “normal” families with many children.

    “There is no oppression of homosexual people in Russia,” he said. “When gay organizations complain of such harassment, they do it in order to get more money from soft-hearted Europeans.”
    Russian crime gangs find gays easy targets for blackmail - Naples Herald

    Milonov


    He is an ordained priest, among other things


    Bulatov, meanwhile, who is Muslim, as you may guess from his skull cap, has become well known as a sort of coordinator between Orthodox Christian and Muslim "patriots" in that fine city. He has brought together Orthodox and Muslim activists to (often violently) "raid" goth rock concerts ("Satanist music", bad, against Russian culture and morals, must be banned), gay pride events, and also to pressure schools to fire teachers they suspect of "sexual deviancy", as the article notes.

    He is also a senior member and co-founder of a new St. Petersburg organization called "Putin's Musketeers", Putinist militants, as the name (based on the Dumas novels, which are very popular among Russians to this day) suggests.

    The group, formed early this year, has already began to disrupt opposition protests and such.

    In April, they attacked activists protesting government corruption, after the Panama Papers were published.

    The "Musketeers" are accused of spraying the dissidents with some sort of a chemical substance, which caused eye burns in at least a couple people (not pepper spray, something nastier than that, the burns lasted much longer).

    "Musketeer" Sergey Kalyakin was arrested by police at the scene

    but released next morning with no charges filed. The law is only for those the government doesn't like, over there

    The regular, non-political thugs, meanwhile, simply figured out a way to profit from all the homophobic hysteria... Sad, but that's the reality there now.
    Thanks from cable2

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    Unfortunate of course but there will always be groups targeted for extortion.

    Crack down on one and a new one opens up.

    Criminals will always find a group to practice their craft on.

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    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Unfortunate of course but there will always be groups targeted for extortion.

    Crack down on one and a new one opens up.

    Criminals will always find a group to practice their craft on.
    It's sad though. LGBT people face enough crap over there as is, without this too...
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    The Pundit DemoWhip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    It's sad though. LGBT people face enough crap over there as is, without this too...
    Exactly so! There are stories about how Russia treats its Gays that would make your blood curdle! One just has to wonder how many Russian police are actually Gay themselves who have to hold their nose by not agreeing to arrest fellow Gays but having to do so anyway?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemoWhip View Post
    Exactly so! There are stories about how Russia treats its Gays that would make your blood curdle! One just has to wonder how many Russian police are actually Gay themselves who have to hold their nose by not agreeing to arrest fellow Gays but having to do so anyway?
    I have never heard you complain about the way some ME nations treat their Christians.

    Many people have selective groups they care about.

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    The Pundit DemoWhip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    I have never heard you complain about the way some ME nations treat their Christians.

    Many people have selective groups they care about.
    We are talking about abusing Gays here at the moment. If you want to open a thread about Christians then do so. Incidentally, for the sake of brevity, let me say that being a Born Again Christian I oppose mistreatment of Christians. There are however, factions within the Christian community that do not truly live the Christian life nor uphold its principles to LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY as Jesus Christ told us that we must do therefore, they may be the ones who are being targeted and mistreated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemoWhip View Post
    We are talking about abusing Gays here at the moment. If you want to open a thread about Christians then do so. Incidentally, for the sake of brevity, let me say that being a Born Again Christian I oppose mistreatment of Christians. There are however, factions within the Christian community that do not truly live the Christian life nor uphold its principles to LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY as Jesus Christ told us that we must do therefore, they may be the ones who are being targeted and mistreated.
    I brought up Christianity as a point of reference.

    I don't want to see anyone abused for their beliefs or what they choose to do such as homosexuality but when these groups involve themselves in societal laws they open themselves up for criticism.

    I have no problem with atheists going after Christians on legal issues that affect society just as I have no issue disagreeing with homosexuals on gay marriage. Arguing issues is not the same as arguing against the morality of an individual for what they believe or who they are.

    A good example would be someone who has no issues with blacks but they dislike affirmative action.

    However, this thread is not about homosexuality in itself, it is about a group in society being targeted because criminals have found away to extort them.

    This is wrong regardless of what type of group it is.

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    The Pundit DemoWhip's Avatar
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    Human Rights Watch is an EXCELLENT organization that keeps up with such things as the following. It is utterly despicable and outrageous the treatment Gay Men receive in Russia. That is why Russia can never be our friend nor should we attempt to initiate any liaison with them until they absolutely change their policy on the mistreatment of Gays in their terrible country.

    Russia: Gay Men Beaten on Camera:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=zMTbFSJ_Tr4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DemoWhip View Post
    Human Rights Watch is an EXCELLENT organization that keeps up with such things as the following. It is utterly despicable and outrageous the treatment Gay Men receive in Russia. That is why Russia can never be our friend nor should we attempt to initiate any liaison with them until they absolutely change their policy on the mistreatment of Gays in their terrible country.

    Russia: Gay Men Beaten on Camera:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=zMTbFSJ_Tr4
    Sorry but it doesn't work like that.

    Homosexuality is not even on the radar for a requirement on how to deal with a major power.

    There are 1000 things we disagree with in regards to every country and if we used all of those as a reason not to do business with them we would be all alone.

    Like it or not, when you are dealing with international relations you have to overlook things.

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    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    I brought up Christianity as a point of reference.

    I don't want to see anyone abused for their beliefs or what they choose to do such as homosexuality but when these groups involve themselves in societal laws they open themselves up for criticism.

    I have no problem with atheists going after Christians on legal issues that affect society just as I have no issue disagreeing with homosexuals on gay marriage. Arguing issues is not the same as arguing against the morality of an individual for what they believe or who they are.

    A good example would be someone who has no issues with blacks but they dislike affirmative action.

    However, this thread is not about homosexuality in itself, it is about a group in society being targeted because criminals have found away to extort them.

    This is wrong regardless of what type of group it is.
    Your number one error, is that homosexuality is not something that people "choose to do".

    You think anybody would "choose" to be vilified, arrested and persecuted by the state, and beaten up or even murdered by vigilantes in Russia; thrown off buildings, stoned to death, or beheaded in many Arab countries; hanged in Iran; persecuted, imprisoned, killed, in Uganda; etc, etc. You think anyone would CHOOSE that life, if they did not have to?
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