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Russian court sentences three men for murder of man they believe was gay

Monday, February 3, 2014

PETROPAVLOVSK, Kamchatska, Russia — A Russian court has sentenced three men who were found guilty of the brutal murder of a man they stabbed and set on fire because they believed that he was gay.

AFP reports that the men, all from the same village of Zaporozhye in far eastern Russia, committed the murder last May because they were “convinced of the non-traditional sexual orientation of their fellow villager,” regional prosecutors said in a statement, using a euphemism for being gay.

“Taking into account the role of each, the court sentenced them to 12-and-a-half years, 10-and-a-half years and nine years in a strict-regime prison colony,” prosecutors said.

According to court documents and testimony from investigators, the three men “lured the man in his car to a deserted part of the forest. There, the eldest man stabbed the victim multiple times in the chest, face and neck, and two others kicked him.”

They placed the 39-year-old victim’s body in his car and set it on on fire.

The convicted are aged 26, 22 and 18, the youngest still a minor at the time of the crime, prosecutors said.

While it was highly unusual for Russian prosecutors to state publicly that the motive was homophobia, the men were prosecuted for murder, not a hate crime, a classification that is rarely used.

The attack last May came while Russian lawmakers were debating the country’s controversial anti-gay propaganda law, that was signed weeks later by president Vladimir Putin.

Gay rights activists noted at the time that the murder was an example of rising violence against the Russian LGBTQ community, calling the bill a “homophobic policy” that is giving Russians “carte blanche” to attack gays.

Putin however, has publicly maintained that gays and lesbians face no discrimination as a result of the law.

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28 more reader comments:

  1. So confused… I mean… Good that they are punishing the men who did this to a gay man, but… I’m surprised they didn’t turn the other way…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:42pm
  2. Because living is an international right, hating gays is a local right. One's over another

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:52pm
  3. I agree. I was surprised too. Especially since they created the hostile environment those assholes felt safe enough to act out their bloody disgusting fantasies in.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:41pm
  4. :/

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:44pm
  5. This is murder and hate crime, but of course gays aren’t discriminated against in Russia, according to Putin.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:45pm
  6. Yeah.Mr. Putin….we just get stabbed and set on fire…that’s all…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:47pm
  7. set the man on fire? well according to their bible, an eye for an eye. set them on fire too :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:47pm
  8. Putin should be put to death. fucking disgusting bastard

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:48pm
  9. If true it’s a step in the right direction

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:48pm
  10. 9 to 12 really. Russia it’s murder. I am not impressed. Don’t try and fool the world because the Olympics starts this week.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:49pm
  11. they should be shot !

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:51pm
  12. Its good there is some justice happening.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:54pm
  13. This is EXACTLY what happens in countries that have archaic laws like Russia does.. They assume people are gay so they go out an execute them over an assumption.

    What a barbaric society Russia must be..

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:01pm
  14. At least there’s some sort of justice…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:01pm
  15. I will never understand the waste of human life…gay or straight there is NO EXCUSE FOR THIS BEHAVIOR!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:08pm
  16. 10 years for murder is a light sentence.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:11pm
  17. This is suprising. I mean….. If the government doesnt care about the rights of a homosexual then why would anyone!? Glad they are being punished but that government has some major issues and im glad i live in a country that cares! :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:25pm
  18. Well Hope the Sentence is Max listen Goal of Everyone Equal under the law of any country should be protected as that what gets me we have country’s who ban love but where born with love but taught hate can we not move on in life get over these silly little things that’s not big deal I’m Gay and By Damn if I’m Sentence in Jail for Loving like I was born to do When you start Judging it’s b/c you have your own sexuality problems not I !!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 4:47pm
  19. THE RIVERS WILL TURN RED WITH THE BLOOD OF STRAIGHT MEN !

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:06pm
  20. It’s just absolutely awful.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:22pm
  21. It should be a hate crime sentence on top of the murder charge. So much hate in the world.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:23pm
  22. It’s about time the Russian Police did their jobs

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:23pm
  23. At this point I believe is all a show and they’ll be out in the street in a short time

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:40pm
  24. Okay, Russia. If it was “unclear” if the motive was a hate crime and “unclear” if the murder was because the victim was gay, why still the “slap on the hand” sentence? Granted, Russian prisons are no joking matter. They don’t get the “luxuries” our pampered inmates get.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:41pm
  25. I don’t like what Russia is doing but we can Not go and generalize that all are like that there.. Same goes for people here in America.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:03pm
  26. I wonder if anything would’ve happened to them if the victim actually was gay?

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:23pm
  27. This is what happens, if a gov’t prosecutes minorities, certain parts of the population will take that as a green light to harm said minorities. I can’t believe Russia is behaving like a third world country! So sad…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:26pm
  28. Good ! Terrible treatment of gays!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 6:56pm