Tag Archives: Lesbians in Russia

ILD: Lesbian Couple Talk About Being Out and Same-Sex Parents in Russia

After a Russian grocery chain apologized for featuring gay parents in an ad, two lesbian parents told Meduza what it’s like to live in a country where their very portrayal qualifies as offensive.

In late June, the Russian grocery store chain VkusVill put out an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple as part of its “Recipes for Family Happiness” campaign. The ad set off an avalanche of homophobic comments and threats against the company, and VkusVill soon announced it would delete the ad, calling it “a mistake that occurred as a result of some individual employees’ unprofessionalism.” This sparked another wave of criticism on social media, as people accused the chain of cowardice and hypocrisy. Throughout the debate, however, there’s been almost no mention of the difficulties same-sex couples in Russia actually face. To learn more about what life is like for same-sex parented families in Russia, Meduza spoke to Yana and Yaroslava, two women in a loving relationship who are now raising a child together.

Continue Reading: https://meduza.io/en/feature/2021/07/17/third-class-citizens (Source)

Read about the VkusVill advert here: https://listening2lesbians.com/2021/07/09/russia-lesbian-family-in-removed-ad-faces-death-threats-as-supermarket-apologises-for-including-them/

Russia: literary festival cancelled for including lesbian writer Oksana Vasyakina

In the Tula region, the Khomyakov Home literary festival was canceled after complaints from Orthodox activists. They were outraged by one of the participants – the writer and open lesbian Oksana Vasyakina.

The festival was to take place in the Bogucharovo estate, which belonged to the founder of early Slavophilism, Alexei Khomyakov. The organizers said that the event had to be canceled due to the COVID epidemic in the region. Vasyakina’s friend, feminist Daria Serenko, believes that the reason is different. According to her, “Orthodox activists” and security officials tried to expel Vasyakina from the festival “because she is a lesbian.” The organizers did not agree to expel her, allegedly leading to the entire festival being canceled.

(Translated)

В Тульской области отменили литературный фестиваль «Хомяков home» после жалоб православных активистов. Их возмутила одна из участниц — писательница и открытая лесбиянка Оксана Васякина.

Фестиваль должен был пройти в усадьбе «Богучарово», принадлежавшей основоположнику раннего славянофильства Алексею Хомякову. Однако организаторы сообщили, что мероприятие пришлось отменить из-за эпидемиологической обстановки в регионе. Подруга Васякиной, феминистка Дарья Серенко, считает, что причина в другом. По ее словам, «православные активисты» и силовики пытались выгнать Васякину с фестиваля «за то, что она лесбиянка». Организаторы не согласились, и потому якобы был отменен весь фестиваль.

(Original)

Continue reading at: https://spid.center/ru/posts/6639/ (Source)

UN submission on discrimination and violence against lesbians

On 1 August 2021 Listening2Lesbians provided submissions in response to the following from the Commission on the Status of Women:

“Any individual, non-governmental organization, group or network may submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world. The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.”

Commission on the Status of Women: Communication Procedure

Information was provided to the UN on incidents dating back approximately 2.5 years across the 57 countries we have reported on in that time.

Legal, social and familial punishment of lesbians for failing to conform with the expectations imposed on women illuminates the status of women around the world. Homosexuality is understood to be a breach of sex-based expectations. Strictly enforced sex roles are accompanied by increased consequences for those who break them, individually or collectively. Lesbians, or women read as lesbians, are doubly punishable for their non-conformity, both overt and inferred.

Listening2Lesbians is not an expert on these countries and provided this information to augment and support the information provided by women from individual communities. We can only provide information on cases we have been able to locate and based our submissions solely around the available facts. Please note that we welcome corrections and updates.

We are painfully aware of the many communities not represented.

Anyone with information on missing communities is invited to contact us with information on reporting violence and discrimination against lesbians in their community.

Liz, Ari and Devorah @ Listening2Lesbians

Submissions:

Update: Russian Lesbian Couple and Family in Controversial Ad Flee to Spain After Threats

A lesbian couple and their family, who were featured in an advert for a Russian supermarket chain that led to a national scandal have fled the country after facing online abuse and death threats.

Mother Yuma, daughters Mila and Alina, and Alina’s girlfriend Ksyusha have said they were forced to leave Russia for Spain after they featured in an ad in which they said they enjoyed VkusVill’s onigiri rice balls and hummus.

“Unfortunately, due to the complicated situation with VkusVill, we have been left without work and without a home,” wrote daughter Mila on Instagram, posting a picture from a balcony in Spain.

“Right now me and my family very much need to get settled in Barcelona. It’s a difficult time for us and we need friends,” she continued. “Maybe the friends of your friends or their friends can help us start our new life in Barcelona.”

The ad met with a conservative backlash in Russia, which passed a law in 2013 banning “gay propaganda”. VkusVill quickly pulled the advertisement and replaced it with one that featured heterosexual families. It issued a public apology and said the original ad “hurt the feelings of a large number of our customers and employees”.

After the ad’s removal, the family said they were targeted by a hate campaign, culminating in the four women fleeing to Spain in order to ensure their safety.

Continue reading: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/05/russian-gay-family-in-controversial-ad-flee-to-spain-after-threats?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other (source)

Previous article: https://listening2lesbians.com/2021/07/09/russia-lesbian-family-in-removed-ad-faces-death-threats-as-supermarket-apologises-for-including-them/

Update: criminalisation of Russian lesbian feminist Yulia Tsvetkova continues

Yulia Tsvetkova is a young Russian artist and activist from Komsomolsk on the Amur (a city in the extreme east of Russia), who has suffered a homophobic and sexist campaign since March 2019, for defending the rights of women and LGBTI people.

She is accused of committing a crime of “production and dissemination of pornographic material” as a result of drawings of real women which she posted on social media as part of her activism. The criminal trial began on April 12 and she faces up to six years in prison. Given the desperate situation in which she finds herself, Yulia announced that she was on hunger strike on May 1, demanding that the process be sped up, the appointment of a public defender and the opening up of the trial, the hearings of which are held behind closed doors with all media excluded.

Unfortunately, since the process began, Yulia has been the target of homophobic attacks from various people, and of harassment and threats over the phone, on social media and by mail. In addition, she suffered harassment by the Russian police for more than a year, including arbitrary detention, searches at her home and workplace, an enforced psychiatric examination, and almost 4 months of house arrest during which time she could not get necessary medical care.

Previously, in December 2019, she was found guilty of committing an administrative offense, for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations between minors”, and was fined 50,000 rubles (780 US dollars) for being the administrator of two LGBTI communities online in the Russian social network VKontakte.

In January 2020 a new administrative action was initiated against her for publishing his drawing on social networks “Family is where love is. Support LGBTI Families”, which represents two same-sex couples with sons and daughters. For this, Yulia was found guilty in July 2020, and was fined again. In parallel, that same month, administrative proceedings for the same type of offense were initiated for the third time.
(Translated)

Yulia Tsvetkova es una joven artista y activista rusa de Komsomolsk del Amur (ciudad del extremo oriental de Rusia), que desde marzo de 2019 sufre una campaña homófoba y machista por defender los derechos de las mujeres y las personas LGBTI.
Está acusada de cometer un delito de “producción y difusión de material pornográfico” a raíz de unos dibujos de mujeres reales que publicó en las redes sociales como parte de su activismo. El juicio penal comenzó el pasado 12 de abril y se enfrenta a hasta seis años de cárcel. Ante la desesperada situación en la que se encuentra, Yulia anunció el 1 de mayo una huelga de hambre, exigiendo celeridad en su proceso, la personación de un defensor público y la apertura del juicio, ya que actualmente las vistas se celebran a puerta cerrada (tampoco hay prensa).

Lamentablemente, desde que se inició el proceso Yulia ha sido objeto de ataques homófobos de distintas personas, y de acoso y amenazas por teléfono, en redes sociales y por correo. Además, sufrió acoso por parte de la policía rusa durante más de un año, incluyendo una detención arbitraria, registros en su domicilio y su lugar de trabajo, sometimiento a un examen psiquiátrico, y un arresto domiciliario de casi cuatro meses durante el que no pudo recibir la atención médica que necesitaba.

Con anterioridad, en diciembre de 2019 fue declarada culpable de cometer una infracción administrativa, por “propaganda de relaciones sexuales no tradicionales entre menores”, y fue multada con 50.000 rublos (780 dólares estadounidenses) por ser administradora de dos comunidades LGBTI en línea en la red social rusa VKontakte.

Y en enero de 2020 se inició una nueva actuación administrativa en su contra por publicar en las redes sociales su dibujo “La familia es donde está el amor. Apoye a las familias LGBTI”, que representa a dos parejas del mismo sexo con hijos e hijas. Por este hecho, Yulia fue declarada culpable en julio de 2020, siendo de nuevo multada. En paralelo, ese mismo mes, se iniciaron por tercera vez actuaciones administrativas por el mismo tipo de infracción.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/blog/historia/articulo/yulia-tsvetkova-a-la-carcel-por-dibujar/ (Source)

Previous articles:

Russia: lesbian family in removed ad faces death threats as supermarket apologises for including them

The ad was initially posted to the company’s official website as well as other social media channels. The chain quickly pulled the ad after an intense backlash and replaced the lesbian family with another heterosexual family.

The family at the centre of the storm, Yuma and her daughters Mila and Alina, along with Alina’s fiancee Ksyusha, have reportedly faced ongoing harassment and threats. Mila told the BBC that her family had been subjected to homophobic abuse and “threats to murder my family”. She added that they had also received just as many messages of support. …

The advertisement was released with an 18+ warning label in an effort to fall in line with the “gay propaganda law,” which was signed into law by President Vladimir Putin in June 2013. The controversial law bans the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” Violators of the law can face heavy fines with organisations and businesses subject to fines of one million rubles and forced closures for up to 90 days.

Company Apologises, Pulls Ad
The company released an apology on its official Facebook page, signed by the founder of VkusVill, Andrey Krivenko and many of his management team. The post said, “There was an article here that hurt the feelings of many of our customers, staff, partners and suppliers. We regret that this has happened and consider the publication to be our mistake, arising from a lack of professionalism on the part of the brand’s employees. The aim of our company is to help our customers have access to fresh and delicious produce and not to publish materials expressing political opinions or various points of view held by society. In no way did we wish to become a source of discord or hatred.”

Continue reading at: https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/lesbian-couple-featured-in-trashed-russian-ad-face-death-threats/204342 (Source)

Chechnya: lesbian alleges police inaction on torture report

September 2020:

The Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs did not initiate a case after the statement of Chechen woman Aminat Lorsanova about her torture because of her sexual orientation, reports Mediazona.

The lesbian from Chechnya complained to the Prosecutor General’s Office about the inaction of the TFR in January 2020. Aminat Lorsanova demanded to open a criminal case of torture, in which she accused her parents, a family friend and the staff of the borderline clinic. According to the victim, upon learning that she was lesbian, all these people tried to “drive the genie out of her.”

The victim said that in 2018 she was twice placed in psychiatric hospitals, where she was beaten and tortured, an acquaintance of her parents who visited her in the clinic also read verses from the Koran at the same time, and her father forcibly injected her with tranquilizers, sealed her mouth, put handcuffs on her and put her to sleep. In April 2019, the girl fled Russia; in January 2020 she filed a complaint with the police, and a month later she complained to the Prosecutor General’s Office about the inaction of the police.
(Translated)

МВД Чечни не стало возбуждать дело после заявления чеченки Аминат Лорсановой о пытках из-за её сексуальной ориентации, сообщает «Медиазона».

Лесбиянка из Чечни пожаловалась в Генпрокуратуру на бездействие СКРАминат Лорсанова в январе 2020 года потребовала возбудить уголовное дело о пытках, в которых обвинила своих родителей, знакомого семьи и персонал клиники пограничных состояний. По словам девушки, узнав о том, что она гомосексуальна, все эти люди пытались «изгнать из неё джинна».

Девушка рассказала, что в 2018 году её дважды помещали в психиатрические стационары, где её избивали и пытали, знакомый родителей, навестивший её в клинике, ещё и читал при этом стихи из Корана, а отец насильно колол ей транквилизаторы, заклеивал рот, надевал наручники и заставлял спать. В апреле 2019 года девушка сбежала из России, в январе 2020 года подала заявление в полицию, а спустя месяц пожаловалась в Генпрокуратуру на бездействие полицейских.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://stav.aif.ru/society/law/mvd_ne_vozbudilo_delo_po_zayavleniyu_chechenki_o_pytkah_iz-za_gomoseksualnosti (Source)

Russia: young lesbian hospitalised after attack

On the evening of December 8, near the Kitay-Gorod metro station in Moscow, unidentified male persons beat 21-year-old Diana Savelyeva . According to Ren TV and Readovka, the attack took place because of her sexual orientation – the victim is a lesbian.

According to media reports, the girl barely made it home, and then her friend took her to the emergency room where Savelyeva was diagnosed with a concussion and head injury. Numerous hematomas and bruises were found on her body.

The police are investigating the circumstances of the incident. It is not yet clear who beat the girl and how he found out about her orientation. Now the victim is in the hospital, they are looking for the criminal.
(Translated)

Вечером 8 декабря рядом с метро «Китай-город» в Москве неизвестные избили 21-летнюю Диану Савельеву. Как пишут «Рен ТВ» и Readovka, нападение произошло из‑за ее сексуальной ориентации, пострадавшая — лесбиянка.

По данным СМИ, девушка с трудом добралась до дома, а затем подруга доставила ее в травмпункт. Там Савельевой диагностировали сотрясение мозга и черепно-мозговую травму. На ее теле обнаружили многочисленные гематомы и кровоподтеки.

Полиция выясняет обстоятельства случившегося. Пока неясно, кто избил девушку, и как узнал о ее ориентации. Сейчас пострадавшая находится в больнице, преступника ищут.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://daily.afisha.ru/news/44850-devushku-izbili-v-centre-moskvy-izza-seksualnoy-orientacii/ (Source)

Russia: Julia Tsvetkova, lesbian feminist activist on the state campaign against her

My Body is not pornography Julia Tsvetkova

“I feel that today there are so many invisible female political prisoners: mothers, wives – women who bear an incredible burden thanks to political trials,” says Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who’s been designated a political prisoner by the Memorial human rights association. “Political prisoners are heroes, but women are the invisible service staff.”

Tsvetkova, a theatre director, feminist and LGBT activist, has had time to reflect. In October 2019, she was interrogated in her hometown of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and in November her social media posts led to her flat and theatre studio being searched for evidence of pornography. Tsvetkova was charged with spreading pornography and has been under house arrest since 23 November last year.

As part of the investigation, Tsvetkova has been accused of spreading “homosexual propaganda” among underage people and fined 50,000 roubles (£500). Tsvetkova has run several educational projects in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as well as a youth theatre, online groups on feminism and sex education for young people and a Vagina Monologues group which celebrated the power and uniqueness of the female body.

In March this year, a district council reduced the charge against Tsvetkova and released her from house arrest on the basis that she would not leave the country. But Tsvetkova is still charged with spreading pornography for publishing illustrated educational material, for which she can be given a two-to-six-year prison sentence.

What’s happening with the persecution of activists and people who openly talk about sexual minorities, feminism, human rights and sexuality? To what extent do you feel that these issues are taboo in Russia and how this situation can change in the future?

I am the person who they started persecuting when I created The Pink and the Blue, a show about gender stereotypes which I put on at the Merak theatre. And I feel that this already says a lot.

I believe that a lot depends on culture, or rather, lack of it. For example, I needed an ambulance after my arrest and the medics that examined me asked about my case and also, whether I was a paedophile. These aren’t bad people; they just lack culture. People are curious – I can understand that: my case is unprecedented in our city. Because I have short hair, I’ve been asked four times on the street whether I’m male or female. When that happens, I feel shock and embarrassment. And people just don’t see that I’m embarrassed and that haircuts don’t define gender.

The question of my sexual orientation comes up at nearly every police interrogation. The need to physically examine me, for example, is all to do with the fact that I’m a lesbian. And as for my case, there seems to be an idea that the female body is public property. I’ve heard cops going on about how we should be having kids, not displaying our vaginas. But even if I wanted to display my vagina, it’s my right and my vagina.

Continue reading at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/yulia-tsvetkova-interview/

Related articles:

Update: Russian lesbian feminist fined for gay propaganda, still facing jail on pornography charge

Yulia Tsvetkova

Yulia Tsvetkova, who was charged with spreading “gay propaganda” among minors three times in less than a year, was fined by a court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday (July 10).

Vladimir Putin and his government banned so-called “gay propaganda” in 2013, prohibiting the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”. Under his rule, sharing information about LGBT+ people’s lives can earn a person a prison sentence.

Tsvetkova was prosecuted for her colourful drawings showing LGBT+ relationships. One of the drawings, called “A family where love is”, shows gay and lesbian couples with their children.

She was also investigated for running a social-media page called Vagina Monologues, which encourages people to share artistic depictions of vaginas in order to “remove the taboo”.

The 27-year-old is facing a criminal trial for the offence of pornography after posting drawings of vaginas online in this group.

If convicted on these charges, Tsvetkova faces six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/07/13/yulia-tsvetkova-russia-activist-fine-gay-propaganda-drawings-lesbian-gay-lgbt-families/ (Source)

Related articles:

Russia: two additional cases opened against lesbian activist Julia Tsvetkova

L2L Russia

Second case:

A second case was drawn up against Julia Tsvetkova, a feminist and artist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, alleging promotion of “gay propaganda” among minors – because of the picture in support of LGBT families “Family is where there is love” and other materials in relation to this topic. RFI reported the news about Julia Tsvetkova on July 2.

Third Case:

A third case alleging promotion of homosexuality has been opened against artist and LGBT activist Julia Tsvetkova, as reported on her Facebook wall. The trigger for the case is the picture published by Julia for the flashmob #Yes I choose, which was launched on social networks in response to a video promoting amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation with the involvement of same-sex families.

“With the previous administration, the investigation took six months. Therefore, it is too early to talk about the protocol, the court and the fine in the context of the new case. Is it possible this case won’t reach court? I doubt it. My predictions are that they will dig and dig for everything they want. So far it works that way. What is this about? The fact that they are not far behind me? That the country is homophobic? That a shell can hit three times in one place? That all this is not ok? Why state the obvious? This is probably all I can say now. And also, that I will not choose a country in which three charges are laid just to oppose the idea that ​​“Family is where there is love,” Tsvetkova noted.

Second case: Continue reading at: The second protocol on “gay propaganda” was drawn up for the artist Julia Tsvetkova

Third case: Continue reading at: https://www.buro247.ru/news/lifestyle/7-jul-2020-yulia-tcvetkova-new-case.html (Source)

Related articles:

второй протокол:

На феминистку и художницу из Комсомольска-на-Амуре Юлию Цветкову составили новый протокол о «гей-пропаганде» среди несовершеннолетних — из-за картинки в поддержку ЛГБТ-семей «Семья там, где любовь» и других материалов на эту тему Вконтакте. Об этом Юлия Цветкова 2 июля сообщила RFI.

третий протокол:

На художницу и ЛГБТ-активистку Юлию Цветкову заведено третье административное дело о пропаганде гомосексуализма. Она сообщила об этом на своей странице в фейсбуке. Причиной послужила картинка, опубликованная девушкой в рамках флешмоба #ДаВыберу, который был запущен в соцсетях в ответ на ролик за поправки в Конституцию РФ с участием однополой семьи.

«По предыдущей административке проведение экспертизы заняло полгода. Поэтому говорить о протоколе, суде и штрафе в рамках нового дела пока рано. Может ли это дело не дойти до суда? Сомневаюсь. Мои прогнозы, что копать будут и накопают все, что хотят. Пока это работает именно так. О чем это говорит? О том, что от меня не отстали? О том, что страна гомофобна? О том, что снаряд может трижды ударить в одно место? О том, что все это не ок? Зачем проговаривать очевидное? Наверное, это все, что я могу сказать сейчас. А еще, что я не выберу страну, в которой за идею “Семья там, где любовь” с подачи ФСБ заводят уже третье дело подряд», — отметила Цветкова.

(Original)

Update: Protesters arrested in Russia for supporting lesbian activist

L2L Russia

Russian police on Saturday detained more than 30 people, most of them women, who were staging separate one-person protests in central Moscow against charges of spreading pornography levelled against a prominent LGBT activist, a monitoring group said.

One activist was also detained in St Petersburg, according to OVD-Info, which monitors law enforcement issues in Russia.

Earlier this month, police in the Russian far east charged Julia Tsvetkova, an LGBT and feminist activist, with spreading pornography via her pictures, she said on her Facebook page.

If found guilty, Tsvetkova may face up to six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/over-30-protesters-arrested-in-moscow-for-supporting-lgbt-activist-rights-group (Source)

Original article: Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Updates:

Anti-bias group decides in favour of Russian lesbian couple

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 1.10.28 am

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women made a groundbreaking decision in favor of a Russian lesbian couple.

It was the first time the 23-member CEDAW committee accepted and decided a same-sex case in its more than 40-year history.

“Our sacrifice makes at least some sense,” O.N., 33, and D.P., 29, the Saint Petersburg lesbian couple who took Russia to task for refusing to recognize an attack they endured six years ago was a hate crime, wrote in an email interview. “It confirms our position that we were deprived of the opportunity to achieve justice and protection in our own country.”

The couple added that the decision was “important for us” and they are proud that “our case has become historic,” they wrote. The couple called it “one of the steps toward Russia without homophobia.”

The couple requested that only their initials be used for safety reasons.

Continue reading: https://www.ebar.com/news/news
/293343/anti-bias_group_decides_in_favor_of
_russian_lesbian_couple
 (source)

Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Yulja_Tsvetkova-ls-main-800x597

A lesbian artist has spent months under house arrest and is facing fines and six years jail, just for publishing innocent images in Russia.

Yulja Tsvetkova faces three separate trials. Under the first, Russia has charged her with ‘pornography’, with a penalty of up to six years in prison. Moreover, she also faces two trials for LGBT+ ‘propaganda’ – with a fine of 50 million rubles (€600 $625) for each one.

But despite all this, Tsvetkova told GSN that she would continue her artistic work and fight for LGBT+ people.

In the pornography case, Tsvetkova posted a drawing of a vagina in a social media page about body positivity. The page features many figurative and artistic images of vaginas. They wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery and certainly aren’t pornographic.

In addition, the 26-year-old published articles on queer culture, supporting LGBT+ youth and discrimination for LGBT+ people in Russia on a social media group. That earned her one charge of distributing LGBT+ ‘propaganda’.

The other ‘propaganda’ charge came after Tsvetkova drew an illustration of a lesbian and gay couple with kids.

Continue reading: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/this-lesbian-artist-faces-six-years-jail-for-creating-innocent-pictures/ (source)

Updates:

Russia: young lesbian escapes after family takes her to Azerbaijan for sexuality

Sevgiya Subkhani-Ismailova

Student Sevgiya Subkhani-Ismailova, who was forcibly taken away by her mother from Krasnoyarsk, told how her life was going after escaping. This was reported by the publication “Rise” in its Telegram channel. A woman took her daughter to another country after learning that she was a lesbian.

Earlier, Sevgiya admitted that she is still afraid of her relatives, because “they are just animals.” The girl said that she still does not have an understanding of how to move on. She reported that her mother sent her voice messages with threats, promising “a lot of blood.” Sevgiya believes that this is not a figure of speech, because the mother is able to “go to extreme measures.”

On January 15, a friend of Sevgiya’s, Polina, said that the girl had been deceived into Azerbaijan, having taken away her documents, phone and antidepressants. After this, several unsuccessful attempts by the girl to escape were reported. In a message from one of her friends, she complained of beatings and tying. On January 17, it became known that the girl managed to escape, but the details of the escape were not specified.
(Translated)

Насильно увезенная матерью в Азербайджан из Красноярска студентка Севгия Субхани-Исмаилова рассказала, как проходит ее жизнь после побега. Об этом сообщило издание «Подъем» в своем Telegram-канале. Женщина забрала дочь в другую страну, узнав, что та лесбиянка

Ранее Севгия призналась, что до сих пор боится своих родственников, потому что «они просто животные». Девушка рассказывала, что у нее пока нет понимания, как двигаться дальше. Она сообщала, что мать присылала ей голосовые сообщения с угрозами, обещая «много крови». Севгия считает, что это не фигура речи, потому что мать способна «пойти на крайние меры».

15 января подруга Севгии Полина рассказала, что девушку обманом увезли в Азербайджан, отобрав у нее документы, телефон и антидепрессанты. После этого сообщалось о нескольких неудачных попытках девушки сбежать. В сообщении одной из подруг она пожаловалась на побои и связывание. 17 января стало известно, что девушке удалось сбежать, однако детали побега не уточнялись.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://lenta.ru/news/2020/01/27/zayavlenie/ (Source)

 

Russia: Seven men assault teenage lesbian in horrific attack

seven-men-teenage-girl-homophobic-attack.jpg

Ekaterina Lyskh, 18-years-old, and her girlfriend Alina were walking through the streets of St Petersburg with a group of friends on Monday, December 9. Seven men followed them and started hurling insults at Ekaterina over her appearance.

On an Instagram post, Alina further detailed the attack, “Of course, seeing so many people, we decided to just leave. It so happened that we were divided and a tall guy came up to me with the phrases ‘Beauty, let’s get to know you?’.”

Alina further stated to Paper, “They came too close, asking what was in our pockets. We tried to move on, but the men blocked our moves. As a result, we still managed to run into some kind of coffee shop. I tried to call the guard, but did not have time.”

Ekaterina ran after the men “to find out why they are doing this,” according to Alina. She then received several blows to the face and head and later diagnosed with a concussion by medical professions. She received stitches to the side of her mouth.

Continue reading: https://gcn.ie/seven-men-teenage-girl-homophobic-attack/ (source)

Russia: Lesbian activist murdered in St Petersburg

yelena.jpg

The body of a 41-year-old woman was found in bushes near her home in the city on Sunday, local police said.

Relatives and friends later named the victim as Yelena Grigoryeva, Russian news website Fontanka reports.

Ms Grigoryeva, who had reportedly received death threats, regularly campaigned for human rights in Russia.

In a post on Facebook on Monday, activist Dinar Idrisov said his friend Ms Grigoryeva had been “brutally killed near her home”.

“She had recently been the victim of violence and death threats,” he wrote, adding that she had filed several complaints with the police.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49081626 (source)

TO KILL A WOMAN, YOU DON’T NEED MUCH – THE STORY OF A CHECHEN LESBIAN WHO FLED FROM RUSSIA

To kill a lesbian in Chechnya

My family learned about my orientation from my girlfriend. She told my family – I do not know why. She is not a Chechen. After that, I started having problems, and I stopped communicating with her. I ran away from home twice. The first time I ran away, I was actively searched. Where I am hiding, my girlfriend told my relatives. After that, one of the brothers came for me, and we went home. My mother was unhappy with this. She told her brother: “Why did you bring her home? You should have shot her somewhere in the forest, as we agreed. ” But the brother did not do it – my father forbade him to do it.
(Translated)

О моей ориентации домашние узнали от моей девушки. Она рассказала моей семье – не знаю зачем. Она не чеченка. После этого у меня начались проблемы, и я перестала с ней общаться. Я дважды убегала из дома. В первый раз, когда я убежала, меня активно искали. Где я скрываюсь, моим родственникам рассказала моя девушка. После этого за мной приехал один из братьев, и мы поехали домой. Моя мама была недовольна этим. Она сказала брату: «Зачем ты привез ее домой? Ты должен был ее где-нибудь в лесу расстрелять, как мы и договаривались». Но брат этого не сделал – мой отец запретил ему это делать.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.currenttime.tv/a/chechen-lgbt-refugee-monologue/29769095.html

Chechen lesbians: murdered, abused and assaulted just like the gay men

This is a translation of an article by Ilya Panin at the Aids Centre Russia. The article is located here and IP for the original article is fully retained by the original writer. A condensed version of the original article is also produced on the original site.

Translation was undertaken by Phil S and we thank her for her generous support.

In Moscow on the 10th February, on the day of human rights, human rights advocates presented “a report on the results of the amount of violence received by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.” Aids.center is publishing the proceedings, as well as the discussion with a Chechen lesbian about the proceedings with LGBT people in the Russian Caucasus.

The presentation of the report was carried out in complete secrecy: the centre of Moscow, a basement room. Such scenes are more suited to signing secret protocols and journalists have been asked not to name the place where the presentation took place, nor the authors of the study, in their notes, nor their names – the organizers seriously fear for their own lives.  And they have reason to fear – one of the female respondents, whose evidence was used for the document, recently died. In the village, where she lived, they said that she “poisoned herself”. One still hasn’t been in touch.

There still exists a serious stigmatisation of LGBT people in Russian society, especially in the North Caucasus republic, where the situation deepens with traditional and religious aspects.

Queer women of the caucasus 1

Illustration 1 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The violence suffered from law enforcement officers
Physical: 14%, sexual: 10%, psychological: 38%

 

In 2017 the leading Russian media published material detailing the kidnappings, violence and torturing of gay men in Chechnya, they mentioned practically nothing about LGBT women: “the first wave of treatment was against men. The treatment of women remained invisible,” one authors states.

In total, twenty-one residents from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia took part in the study. One of them was a transgender woman. Five more, who were contacted by researchers, refused to participate.

Not leaving the accommodation, we speak to Kamilla, not her real name, but she asks to call herself this. A Chechen woman, she was born not far from Grozny. In a village which she has asked us not to publish. She has already lived in Moscow for 2 years.

Queer women of the caucasus 2

Illustration 2 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
33% attempted suicide –
copyright “Queer Women in Northern Caucasus” project 2018 funded by Genrich Bellya (Moscow)

 

Short hair, sports jacket, leggings. She speaks very quietly, her lips tightly pursed. She’s a lesbian and the only member of the study daring to talk to the reporters in person.

“In Grozny, my friends and I had our own small community of ‘non-traditional orientation’. We met in a flat, we hung out together. It’s not like we were drinking, we would simply simple and talk. Talk quietly. Now 70-80% of the guys and girls have left the republic. Only those with children and families have stayed,” she says. “The police came for some of those who stayed, but they were released in exchange for bribes. No one admitted to what they “are”, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us. So, it’s a miracle that we were saved. People collected money, brought it to the flat, as a ransom. Then they ran.”

 

Queer women of the caucasus 3

Illustration 3 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother came home from work and started to look for me. He found me with a girl. We were walking in the street. He started to brutally beat me, he beat me on the head, on my face…in the street. My cousin (male) took me home. My brother said that he would kill me, take me to the outskirts of the city and simply kill me there. I was a shame to the family and a constant problem” (CH. R)
38% told us of honour killings of their relatives and (female) friends

 

The Guardians of Islam

Kamilla is now around 35 years old. 29% of those surveyed during the study stated that they had suffered from sexual violence. Researchers in these situations shared the sexual violence in their families and with their spouse. Kamilla escaped this. But she did not escape the loneliness and isolation that many homosexual women face upon leaving their familial home.

“I can’t cut ties with my mother, because we are very close,” Kamilla says so quietly, that you can barely make out the words. “During my time here, I have even gone home to see her twice. I miss her. I haven’t come out. But my mum always sees my way of life: that I socialise with girls. She has never insisted that I stop all this, only got upset, that I don’t live like everyone else. My (female) cousins got married long ago, they had several children, even those younger than me. It upsets her. The male half, of course, knows nothing.”

“No one admitted to what they ‘are’, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us”

Due to the specific way of life and risks associated with it, ‘coming out’ is rarely done in North Caucasus.  More often, there is an ‘outing’ when an acquaintance, former partner, relative or neighbour tells others about the “non-traditional” sexual preferences or gender identity of someone.

Only one women from those who agreed to talk to researchers came out to her family, but her fate is now unknown: she went missing after a while and all contact has been lost.

“When people are outed, they become outcasts. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Life after this in the Republic is not an option. In every case, you need to leave,” Kamilla verifies. We speak right in the corner of the room, in a safe space, where no one can find us, there are only a few people in the room. But even in this setting, distrust and tension can be felt.

“When I came to study and work in Grozny, my brother blamed me for not living with my mum in my hometown, but I was always bored with my classmates. At this point, I started to become friends with girls through the internet and to travel to a friend in the neighbouring republic.”

Queer women of the caucasus 4

Illustration 4 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
24% victims of religious torture
38% witnesses of honour killings of their relatives, friends, acquaintances

 

The more I tried living on my own, the more pressure and threats I received. In Chechnya, it is believed that the male half of the father’s line is responsible for the girl. The same nephews or cousins on the father’s side.

“Now I’m trying to leave the country, I’m waiting for a response. But as far as I know, they can also reach me abroad,” Kamilla continues, carefully choosing her words, “it happened to my friend, they even wrote about him in the paper, he got to know some Chechens online, went on a date, and they turned out to be “Guardians of Islam” and pushed him into a car. Thankfully, he wasn’t a Chechen, but from a neighbouring republic. Otherwise everything could have ended badly, and so he was released.”

 

Undercover marriage

As a rule, underlined by the authors of the report, after relatives learn that a member of the family belongs to the LGBT community, the family is considered to be ‘disgraced’. The purity of the reputation happens through “honour killings”, a practise which is still carried out in Northern Caucasus. 38% of the respondents who participated in the study said that they had not only heard of “honour killings” but personally knew acquaintances or (female) friends who had been killed in this way “due to behaviour that disgraces the family.”

Queer women of the caucasus 5

Illustration 5 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“One of them said that I needed a “purifying of demonic blood” ritual. To do this, my parents pierced the skin of my back with needles, and made small outlines on my arms and legs. They took such a thing…a vacuum, to get the blood. After this I was put in a bath with very salty water and I had to lie there” (CH R)
Undergoing the practice of “chasing out of Djinns” – 24%

 

Forced marriage is an alternative form of “purifying the reputation”. Of the respondents, nine admitted that they were or had been in forced marriages. Seven of the eight women who had gone through a forced marriage, said that their marriage took place after their outing. That is, after relatives received confirmation of their sexual orientation from third parties: for example, through correspondence or personal photographs.

However, events do not always take such a serious turn. Needles to say, open marriage between LGBT people in the Caucasus is forbidden. But family-imposed marriages with the “right” husband can be both a form of punishment and salvation, often being the only way a woman can live relatively normally, without arousing suspicion.

“I still have a tense relationship with my relatives, they believe that I need to come home and get married. I was proposed to not once but twice. They gave out my number, sent grooms,” Kamilla recounts her personal life.

“In the event of an outing, the person becomes an outcast. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Living in the Republic after this is not an option. You need to leave in any situation.”

“To those who are sent, I can’t respond sharply or rudely, as I don’t want to arouse suspicion. There’s technology. We need to break contact slowly with these young men. It’s stressful, of course. But it could be worse. There are families where a father and brother have ordered it, and the girl cannot get out, because a girl must submit to an adult. That’s not happened to me,” she explains.

“Undercover marriage” is a fictitious marriage which often takes place between a homosexual man and woman, so that they can appear to their parents as a “fully-fledged” traditional family.

“I attempted this,” Kamilla says, “we met through the internet. He knew everything about me, I wasn’t against it. In time we became friends. Fictitious marriage is a saviour for women. She can’t go anywhere alone, she can’t travel alone, and she can’t live alone. Men, if they’re not suspected of being gay, have more possibilities to move. But if there are suspicions that the guy isn’t like everyone else, that he isn’t interested in the opposite sex, that there are no dates, it’s not so easy…rumours spread quickly. That’s why they try to marry, to reassure the family. My marriage didn’t happen because at the very last moment the guy got HIV.”

Such legalised forms of relationships give a feeling of security, the authors of the report say, however, patriarchal foundations often hit and this is a fact in a fictitious marriage. Not only heterosexual men but also gay and bisexual men continue to try to completely control their wives, using violent practises, despite the forced and feigned nature of the partnership itself.

Queer women of the caucasus 6

Illustration 6 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
Psychological condition of LGBT women, having lived through violence and hate speech
29% self-harm
43% suicidal thoughts
33% attempt suicide

 

Fear of Djinns

It may seem strange that in traditional Caucasus society the practise of “chasing out the Djinns” is still carried out, it is customary to ‘correct’ or ‘heal’ LGBT people through rites of exorcism.

Researchers explain that even parents with a higher education often converse with “specialists on chasing out Djinns.” Moreover, women themselves often believe in the diabolical essence of their desires: a “male djinn” living inside them and the like. The process of expelling the Djinns, after their sexual orientation had been discovered by relatives, had been suffered by 5 out of 21 respondents.

In general, the authors of the report underline that the stigma, the general atmosphere of fear in which homosexual in the Caucasus live, often doesn’t allow them to seek help in time, even in situations of mortal danger. 100% of the respondents in this study claimed to have experienced both physical and psychological violence.

Queer women of the caucasus 7

Illustration 7 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother sat next to me on his knees, he gave me a pistol…he was crying, I swear, he was crying and he was saying, “I gave father my word that I would not kill you. I beg you, shoot yourself, and just shoot yourself!” and…like a zombie, I went up to him and I gave the pistol to him and I said “you want it, so kill me yourself. I’m not going to shoot myself.” And he said, “If you kill yourself, all this will end, we will tell people that it was an accident” (Ch.P) 

14% survived a direct order to commit suicide.

 

“Even if this report doesn’t change anything and nothing else happens, it’s important that we share it, it’s important that you hear us,” Kamilla concludes towards the end of our conversation, “it’s important that there are people with whom we can just share this with. Someone we can trust. In our region, we know about violence, we have nowhere to turn to, there are Russian laws, but nobody complains about the fact that they’re not complied to. It’s a completely different world there. In traditional families, the person must either live with their relatives or have their own family. Otherwise you will be alone, an outcast, and most of us simply do not have the freedom of choice. What we can wear, who we can talk to, how we can live and in which city, with a male or female partner. Women must be women, men must be men, and everyone has their responsibility. But, nevertheless, I dream of having the freedom to choose”

For the first few days after the presentation, the authors didn’t publish the report online, fearing for their own safety. Today, it went out on an overseas site. Unfortunately, to date, those who are at risk of being exposed are not only those who do not fit into the “traditional” ideas according to local customs, but also human rights activists, researchers and journalists covering “uncomfortable topics”, often beyond the law, discussing the lives of the people there.
The Caucasus.
Where human rights do not exist.

Original Russian article: https://spid.center/ru/articles/2223 (Source)

 

Chechyna: little news on lesbians in latest crackdown

Listening2Lesbians has been unable to find any specific information on what is happening to Chechen lesbians, except for reports which note that both lesbians and gay men have been detained. In 2017, informations on lesbians was similarly scarce, with reports emerging later that confirmed lesbians were often trapped in the private realm, suffering double oppression as women and homosexuals.

Listening2Lesbians has reached out to advocates, seeking information on the plight of lesbians in Chechnya through this escalation in anti lesbian and gay persecution.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact us via:

2017 Listening2Lesbians articles:

 

2017 articles not previously shared on Listening2Lesbians:


chechnya 2017

A spokesman for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov,  told the Interfax news agency on Monday that the reports are “complete lies and don’t have an ounce of truth in them.” He insists that no LGBT people have been detained. But the Russian LGBT Network claims they have been helping the victims and on Monday said about 40 men and women have been detained since December and two have died as a result of torture. The detainees are believed to be kept in the same facility that was named in the 2017 reports.

First reports of the crackdown appeared on Friday, but activist did not release any details until Monday. “Widespread detentions, torture and killings of gay people have resumed in Chechnya,” Igor Kochetkov, program director at the Russian LGBT Network said. “Persecution of men and women suspected of being gay never stopped. It’s only that its scale has been changing.”

Continue reading at: https://sdgln.com/news/2019/01/14/chechnya-gay-purge-resumes-2-dead-40-custody-reports-say (Source)