LGBT activist Violetta Grudina filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights

On July 7, 2016 LGBT activist Violetta Grudina from Murmansk filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights. In her complaint, Grudina indicates that the authorities did not conduct a thorough and timely investigation of a homophobic attack on the community center with two people inside it. The complaint also states that the authorities ignored substantial evidences pointing to the fact that it was a hate crime.

On April 13, 2015 unknown individuals attacked the office of the Murmansk LGBT organization "Maximum" (now "Maximum" initiative group). They sprayed pepper gas inside the community center, which is located on the first floor of a residential building. Two people were in the office at the time of the attack, including LGBT activist Violetta GrudinaGrudina contacted the police the same day, asking them to investigate the crime that had been committed against her. The people injured in the attack had to call emergency services the next day because they felt worse and were suffering from dizziness and headaches.

The authorities declined to carry out a criminal investigation on two occasions, despite the intervention of the Human Rights Ombudsman of Murmansk Oblast Alexander Patrikeev. As was pointed out several times by Grudina's lawyer, the authorities did not take any action to identify the assailants, and did not attribute their motives to homophobic hate. 

In November 2015, the first court complaint was filed about the refusal to open up a criminal investigation. In December of the same year, the court already declined to hear the complaint. An appeal was filed immediately, but it was dismissed. Following the dismissal, a cassational appeal was filed. It was pointed out that considering the work of the organization, the attack could only have been a hate crime against LGBTI. It was also stated that there was objective evidence of the crime, confirmed by the testimony of the victim and witnesses of the spraying of gas. Nonetheless, on April 7, 2016 the judge of the Murmansk regional court rejected the cassational appeal.

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