British documentary to showcase brutal violence against LGBT community in Putin’s RussiaOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Monday, February 3rd, 2014
This Wednesday, Channel 4, England’s commercially funded but publicly owned television station, plans on airing a documentary entitled Hunted. As if the title needs explanation, the special, produced with an alarming degree of willingness on behalf of many of the participants, catalogs the growing tolerance the Russian people are demonstrating toward groups like Parents of Russia and Occupy Pedophilia who, as self-appointed vigilantes are growing bolder in their efforts to intimidate, harass, humiliate and, more troubling, attack members of the LGBT community.
The Guardian, which first broke the story Saturday, quotes Peter Tatchell, a gay rights activist based in London who notes, “The 1936 Olympics took place in an atmosphere of anti-semitic hatred incited by the Nazi government. The 2014 Sochi Olympics echo that hatred, only this time the victims of demonization are LGBT people. There are no Nuremberg laws or concentration camps, but the hateful anti-gay propaganda is similar to the anti-semitism stirred by the Nazis in the early 1930s. How can there be normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Putin’s Russia?”
Occupy Pedophilia, which now has chapters in some 30 Russian cities sprang from President Vladimir Putin’s observation to the Western media recently that his main goal is to protect children from both homosexuality and pedophiles, thus linking the two together.
Hunted is an unflinching look at the steps – increasingly bold – that these groups are taking in their efforts to purify a nation that has had little tolerance for outside views or Western social democratic ideals.
Hunted, to be broadcast in the Dispatches strand Wednesday at 10 p.m., will include the first television reporting of the concerted intimidation and humiliation carried out by the anti-gay groups Parents of Russia and Occupy Paedophilia. “We filmed these groups with their knowledge, and what I found shocking afterwards was that only a few asked to have their faces disguised. They all believe they are doing the right thing,” said Liz Mackean, the investigative journalist who traveled to Russia to make the film for Channel 4.
The fear that many members of the Russian LGBT community have is that once the Olympics have come and gone, they will be left to fend on their own in an environment that, with each passing day, sinks lower down on the scale of human rights.
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