Month of violence in BELARUS!

Submitted by Svyatoslav Sementsov, TEMA

Vitaly (25) was drinking beer with his friends in the city park in Minsk on 16 May 2008. “Then a guy walked by and decided that I was gay. He came up and punched me so hard that he knocked out a tooth. Others were shocked, but they didn't react, because they just thought that the attacker had drunk too much. I did not report the incident to the police, because it is my experience that the police in particular have a nasty and humiliating attitude towards gays”, – Vitaly said.

On 21 May 2008, in Minsk Edward Tarletski, famous Belarusian gay and member of the Board of Lambda Belarus has been badly beaten. It has occurred nearby 11 pm when Edward was on the way back home. According to Tarletski, he was attacked by three young persons in the age of 20-25 years at an entrance of his home. "I was approaching to an entrance, when I saw young people smoking nearby. One of them called me by a surname. To make it clear that it was me, I think. Another one has unexpectedly struck me to face, and I have fallen. They struck many times with legs, and mostly in the head. Then they escaped. I have lost consciousness. The neigbour has helped me to reach an apartment. The villains have taken nothing: in my bag I have money and camera ", - Edward said.
He said that he had no intention to report the incident to police. "This would be a waste of time," he said, adding that this was the third assault on him in the last five years.
Edward Tarletski is a founder of Lambda Belarus, the first gay-organization in Belarus. In 1998-2002 he edited and published LGBT magazine FORUM LAMBDA. He was the organizer of BELARUS GAY PRIDE festivals in 1999-2002. Now E. Tarletski is within editorial of TABOO magazine. Edward is also known as travesty performer.

On night of 13 June 2008, two young gay guys were beaten by four skinheads after gay party in Minsk. Skinheads did a lot of homophobic speeches during beating of gays.
"I didn’t call to police because I’m not sure that they would take my side when find that I’m gay" - said one of the victims. One of the guys had to seek medical help.

On 22 June 2008, gay male Slava (24) was within the last visitors in the bar with his friend in Gomel. “The owner of the bar together with his son decided to beat us up. They locked the door and we couldn’t escape. They badly beat my friend … and I kicked the door in. The police showed up, but they behaved as though I was the guilty one. We were taken to the police station together with our attackers. The police let the attackers go, with¬out even finding out who they were. The attitude toward us was very humiliating. It was as if we were the criminals, not the victims”, - Slava said.

23 June 2008, two old (<50) gay guys were beaten by TEN guys on the gay beach in Gomel. One of the victims has a smashed lip.

It is the most fear month for gays for last 10 years in Belarus…

Svyatoslav Sementsov

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