Trigger warning: This post reports on an alleged anti-gay sexual assault.
An Uzbek student was stripped of his clothing, handcuffed, beaten, and raped at gunpoint with a bottle by a group of vigilantes who targeted him because he is gay, according to a report from Radio Free Europe.
The assault took place on September 11 in Novosibirsk, the capital of Russia's federal district of Siberia. One of the six or seven attackers recorded the event in a series of short video clips currently circulating on the mobile phone application WhatsApp.
From the RFE report:
[The victim] is asked to identify himself and is stripped of his clothes, which are later burned. He is then handcuffed, beaten, insulted, and threatened with a gun. Ultimately, he is forced to sodomize himself by sitting on a bottle, which is then pushed with a bat.
The man, visibly terrified, weeps throughout much of the ordeal.
Radio Free Europe tracked down a man who claimed to have been a part of the mob that raped the student. The attacker said, "We made [the victim] sit on a bottle so that he repents for his sins and comes to reason. We did this to protect the dignity of Uzbeks. We live and work here, we are in contact with people of different nationalities. There will be no respect for us otherwise."
The man told RFE that a group of Russian vigilantes trapped the student by luring him to a fake date, then turned him over to the city's ethnic Uzbek community, who carried out the assault.
Uzbeks, like many other non-Russian ethnic groups, are frequently the target of racist attacks by Russians. Perhaps the Uzbek mob thought their community could gain additional respect from the Russian majority by displaying a similar hatred of its gay citizens?
If this was indeed the rapists' goal, it would appear that they were successful by at least one metric: RFE reports that the comments on WhatsApp "overwhelmingly praised the violence as a well-deserved punishment."
This is what barbarism looks like, folks.