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In addition to lasting emotional trauma, some vigilantes’ victims also described the physical injuries they sustained, including bone fractures and facial injuries.In other cases, LGBT people described being physically attacked by strangers on the subway, on the street, at nightclubs, and, in one case, at a job interview.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.In June 2013 Russia passed a law banning the distribution of information about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships to children.

Police treat most homophobic attacks as common crime, such as hooliganism or assault and battery.Its passage coincided with a ratcheting up of homophobic rhetoric in state media and an increase in homophobic violence around the country.All over Russia there has been an increase in attacks by vigilante groups and individuals against LGBT people in the past two years.Twenty-two victims interviewed by Human Rights Watch told us they developed anxiety and became depressed as a result of the attacks.Others said they stayed at home because they were too frightened to go outside.

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