After the murder of a Russian activist: a horror group topping the list

She calls herself "Saw", as the series of bloody horror movies. A then-unknown group is considering a "return to Chechnya", a new wave of violence against lesbians, gays and transgender people. This is reported by the Russian activist Misha Tumasov. The group, known in Russia as "Pila", reportedly published a list of names on a website and called for a hunt for Russian LGBTQ activists, defenders and journalists.

► To do this, she should have posted private information on social media, including addresses and phone numbers.

Misha Tumasov's name is on this blacklist, as is Elena Grigoryeva's († 41). The activist was brutally murdered near her home a few weeks ago.

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People showed a drawing of Grigoryeva last week to highlight the brutal murderPhoto: Imago

In April 2018, human rights defenders drew attention to the Saw group when they denounced a series of attacks directed against gays and lesbians in the Russian region of Bashkortostan.

The group also claims to have played an active role in the "purges against homosexuals" in the Chechnya region of Russia. On Instagram, several "private" profiles with similar names and the same profile picture – the horror doll of the "Saw" movie series.

The font is of no help

Many times, the band's website was disabled, but reappeared several weeks later, activists report. The police should never have really investigated the identity of the horror site operator. Now, in a joint petition with other Russian LGBTQ networks, the Russian LGBT network is calling on the authorities to finally take action.

Yesterday, the leadership of the All-Out campaign released a video urging them to sign the petition.

In the petition addressed to the Prosecutor General, the Investigative Committee and the General Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, they ask for the identification of who is behind the group, who has openly raped and murdered homosexual, bisexual and transgender people in Russia. In addition, the murder of the civil rights activist should be the subject of a "thorough investigation".

"The list is first published, then she is dead"

There is no evidence of a connection between the killing of Grigoryeva and the activities of the Saw Group. However, the threats create "a sense of impunity for acts of violence perpetrated against LGBT people," say Russian activists. "We have no direct evidence, but investigators do not examine all theories," said Igor Kochetkov, head of the LGBT network based in St. Petersburg.

Nikita Tomilov, 22, a prominent LGBTQ activist from Yekaterinburg, also on the list, considers the moment of the assassination of the suspect Grigoryeva: "The list will be published and a month later she died" .

Tomilov has since avoided public places and decided to work at home after the murder of the activist. He plans to leave Russia as soon as possible because in a story on Instagram, the horror group explains that he has "selected" Tomilov as the next destination.

Activists now hope to get broad support for the petition: "The more people who register, the more likely we are to impose a fair punishment on those responsible," said the Russian LGBT Network.

"People are scared"

In Russia, hate crimes against gays and lesbians are not uncommon. Ninety percent of all cases of violence against sexual minorities are not registered in the country. The victims do not believe that the police are helping them.

"People are afraid to contact the police and do not think they can protect them, they fear that everyone will discover their sexual orientation or their gender identity," said Svetlana Zakharova, LGBT Network Board member. Russian.

"And there is homophobia, which is actively promoted and strengthened at the state level.These two factors are leading to more and more violence, and to avoid that, we need to make sure that the organizations in charge of law enforcement finally start their work. "

Reports on the concentration camp for gays

The Chechen president, Ramzan Kadyrov, said absurdly that there were more homosexuals in his country since the beginning of the international revelations about homosexual concentration camps. "No one can be persecuted" Even Putin did not comment on crimes against human rights in Russia and Chechnya. Since June 2017, cases of torture of gays and lesbians have been reported several times.

More recently, in May of this year, when the Campaign for Human Rights announced that the police of the Russian Autonomous Republic had again arrested and tortured men whom they considered to be homosexuals or bisexuals. The organization was able to interview four men after leaving the country. They reported electric shocks and rapes with sticks. The law enforcement authorities must now determine to what extent the "seen" group is involved in this case.

Tomilov says he feels "abandoned" by the authorities and the police. The first time he contacted the police in Yekaterinburg to express his concerns about the group, he was forbidden to defend "people who are like animals".

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