Hate crimes against LGBT people in Russia have doubled since the nation’s adoption of its “gay propaganda” law in 2013, according to a new study.
The study, released Tuesday by the Center for Independent Social Research in St. Petersburg, analyzed 250 crimes, 200 of which were murders, Reuters reports. The Reuters article did not provide annual figures for crimes, simply saying they had doubled. It did note that the number of sentences for anti-LGBT hate crimes had also increased, to 65 in 2015 from 18 in 2010. Most of the victims were gay men.
Researchers and activists cited the 2013 law as a definite factor in the rise in hate crimes. The 2013 law bans any positive mention of LGBT issues in venues accessible to minors and has been used against Pride parades and other events.
Because of the law, those hostile to LGBT people “have become more aggressive and less fearful,” Russian LGBT Network board member Svetlana Zakharova told Reuters. “It seems to them that, to some extent, the government supports their actions. Many perpetrators openly talk about their crimes as noble deeds.” Her group has noted the same trend as the center's study, she said.
Researchers based the report on court records and information from RosPravosudie, a judicial watchdog group. They noted that there are likely many more anti-LGBT crimes than reflected in the study, as some are never reported to police.