"For the entire duration of the video, they confuse his alleged homosexuality with accusations of paedophilia”
The video was posted on November 5 on VKontakte, a Russian social network similar to Facebook. Larry Poltavtsev, a Russian LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) activist based in the United States, explains the context of the video:
This video was posted online by a group called “Occupy Belgorod”, which is an offshoot of the anti-LGBT group "Okkupaj Pedofilyaj" (“Occupy Paedophilia”). [The Observers team met a member of this group as part of a previous Observers Direct report
in Russia]. Belgorod is a small city in relation to others in Russia [300,000 inhabitants] near the border with the Ukraine. It’s an isolated area where racism and homophobia are firmly entrenched.
Their methods are well-known: they ask a teenager, who is legally under the age of consent to call an alleged homosexual and arrange a meeting. [Since 2003, the age of consent in Russia has been set at 16 years; the teenager in this particular case was 15 years old, according to members of the group.] Once caught, the victim is then subjected to humiliating acts and attempts to “correct” them. In this particular case, members of the group asked the victim if he was familiar with the new Russian law. For the entire duration of the video, they confuse his alleged homosexuality with accusations of paedophilia, and also include racist insults.
France 24 has decided not to share the video in its entirety. Below are a few screenshots from the video in which the Swazi student is subjected to acts of humiliation.
A member of the group Occupy Belgorod shaved the student’s head before applying a green glaze to his scalp
The student is forced to mime sexual scenes, including kissing a watermelon. He is also later made to mime fellatio on a beer bottle.
On its VKontakte page, the “Occupy Belgorod” group says that the student in the video was eventually “expelled from the university”. When contacted by FRANCE 24, several LGBT activists who had been examining the incident clarified that the student first complained to the Belgorod Shukhov State Technology University, where he was studying, then to the police, before suddenly leaving Russia. According to Swazi media, he has already returned to his home country