In cases we documented, when police did open criminal investigations, they were dismissive and reluctant to investigate effectively, often blaming victims for the attacks.
Even when perpetrators were detained immediately after the attack, police did little to protect victims.
In June 2013 Russia passed a law banning the distribution of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships to children.
The law effectively legalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Law enforcement agencies deliberately ignore hatred of LGBT people as a key criminal motive behind the attacks.
Although Russia has hate crime laws, Russian law enforcement agencies do not treat even the most blatantly homophobic violence as hate crimes.
Not a single case documented in this report was investigated as a hate crime.
Others said they stayed at home because they were too frightened to go outside.
In almost all cases the campaigns accused the victims of trying to spread what they called propaganda. Although Russian law enforcement authorities have made some attempts to prosecute anti-LGBT violence, victims face almost insurmountable obstacles seeking justice.
The result is widespread impunity for homophobic crimes.
Moreover, it contravenes Russia’s obligations under domestic law and many key international human rights treaties to which it is a party to protect all people, including LGBT people of all ages, from violence and discrimination.
This report documents the spread of homophobic and transphobic violence and everyday harassment against LGBT people and activists that has taken place in the lead-up to and aftermath of the adoption of the 2013 anti-LGBT law.