Torture of LGBT persons in Crimea: a testimony

Anti-Discrimination Centre “Memorial” publishes this video-testimony about the use of torture against LGBT persons in Crimea following annexation of the peninsula by Russia. A gay person, who was forced to leave Crimea, testifies about him being tortured by the police in autumn of 2014 and being forced to transfer ownership of his house in the resort area to the torturers. The situation of LGBT people in Crimea had not been easy even before the annexation by Russia: many gay people faced hostile attitude, regional law enforcement agencies even had special lists of gay persons. However, with the arrival of the Russian authorities, the situation deteriorated not only because of the homophobic legal norms that began to be enforced on the peninsula, but, above all, because of open and unpunished arbitrariness and tyranny of the authorities.

The problem of homophobia in the situation of lawlessness and arbitrary actions of armed people had been raised earlier in a special human rights report prepared by the ADC “Memorial” “Violation of the rights of LGBTI in Crimea and the Donbass: the problem of homophobia in territories beyond Ukraine’s control”. The international campaign #StopLGBTpersecution, which called for stopping persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in Chechnya and in the East of Ukraine, was also devoted to this problem.