Police officers said that “they were ready to kill me”: an LGBT activist beaten in Makhachkala presses criminal charges at Federal Prosecutor Office

Alexander Sidorov, an LGBT activist beaten for the organization of the one-person picket in Makhachkala, filed a claim to the General Prosecutor Office. In this claim he requested for the official inspection of the local police officers who detained him and who didn’t react to the fact of beating.

Makhachkala police officers abused Alexander Sidorov as he was performing a one-man LGBT-protest. The victim has reported the offense to the Federal Prosecutor Office. In his claim, he is demanding a disciplinary investigation on why no actions have been undertaken in response to his abuse in the city's streets and further, that the police officers are to be held accountable. 

Sidorov's report describes that on the 1st of December, an unknown male person approached him while he was having a single-person picket against homophobia and started punching him. The video taken at the crime scene shows the police officers talking unaffectedly to the attacker without any attempt to stop him.

At the local police office, Sidorov tried to file two complaints: the first against the attackers and the second against the present police officers. “They didn't accept neither of the complaints, at first dissuading, later on, threatening to frame me” – the victim reflects.

After I have been trying to file the complaints for six hours whilst listening to their threats, I gave up and signed a statement stating that I just fell badly. During the whole six hours I have been humiliated and insulted by virtual every police officer. They said, they were ready to kill me, that people like me should be burnt or the like. Literally every passing police officer regarded it as his duty to humiliate me. Everything happened right in front of video cameras, which are installed all over the police station. Then the police brought me to my hotel.

After some time, Sidorov left the hotel, but got detained and dragged back to the police station again. He spent the night on a chair in the waiting room. Along the way “the humiliations and insults were continuing – from the police officers as well as other arrested persons waiting in the room.”

Alexander explains that for the last two years he is dealing with populist, non-scientific and irrational justifications for homophobia. “I spoke to various people in Russia, held presentations, saw everything, but it seems now that nothing can shock me anymore. The relative success in other cities gave me hope to sow seeds of science and common sense in Makhachkala. The chances were not big, but they existed.”

“Due to the enormous amount of threats, I am forced to leave Russia for a while, but I don’t give up: I still plan to organize the first widespread educational and informational campaign about homophobia in Russia, which can build the basis for the positive changes. Until now, we have done everything on our own expense, but as it turned out – the project is quite costly.  That is why we have started a crowdfunding campaign.”