MOSCOW, Russia — Moscow police are looking for two dozen masked men who attacked one of the Russian capital’s most popular gay friendly bars last Thursday night, beating patrons with improvised weapons and fists. Over a dozen people— mostly women—were hurt.
According to authorities, more than 50 people were inside 7freedays, one of a handful of Moscow’s gay and gay-friendly bars. Witnesses said that the attackers entered the club wearing hooded sweatshirts and surgical masks. They told police that some of the men shouted, “You asked for a fight?
Now you’ll get it,” and then attacked. The invasion lasted less than five minutes, with the attackers fleeing before police arrived.
LGBT advocates in Russia say the attack is part of a cultural effort to promote intolerance against gay men and women throughout the country, where three cities, including St. Petersburg, have passed laws that criminalize “homosexual propaganda.”
An official with the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the country’s predominant faith, recently supported introducing such laws nationwide, and Moscow’s highest court has upheld a municipal ordinance that bans gay pride parades until May 2112.