Russian LGBT Network demands to investigate the attack on LGBT activist Alexander Ermoshkin

Today the Russian LGBT Network published an open letter to the Prosecutor of Khabarovsk Kray Vitaly Kaplunov with the request to pay utmost attention to the case of attack on LGBT activist Alexander Ermoshkin. The copies of the letter were also sent to the Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation Ella Pamfilova and Ombudsperson of Khabarovsk Kray Yury Berezutskiy. The attack on Alexander Ermoshkin took place in Khabarovsk on May 17, 2015. Despite of the testimonies of six witnesses and video with a clear picture of perpetrator’s face, the investigators stated that they did not manage to identify the offender. Moreover, the investigation was suspended.

Open Letter  

On May 17, 2015, in Khabarovsk was held a rally “Rainbow over Amur” devoted to the equality of all citizens of Russia in front of the law regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. One of the main goals of the participants was to demonstrate the necessity to establish solid social peace based on the priority of human rights and mutual tolerance.

At the action in presence of numerous witnesses, one of the activists – Alexander Ermoshkin – was attacked. Perpetrator hit Ermoshkin repeatedly on the head with a heavy object. Later on, the doctors diagnosed grave head injury.

Alexander Ermoshkin believes that it was his civic engagement that caused the attack, and that the offence was committed due to the hatred against homosexual, bisexual and transgender people. The attack also demonstrated disrespect for human rights, for freedom of assembly and personal security. Fearing for his life and health, Ermoshkin had to leave Russia.

The lawyer of the activist has made significant efforts for a criminal case to be initiated. However, shortly afterwards it was suspended – it was stated that the investigator did not manage to identify the perpetrator despite the fact that there are testimonies of six witnesses.

Witnesses’ testimonies became the basis for the complex research prepared by independent consultants. The research clearly shows the bias motivation against LGBT became the reason of the attack. Moreover, in the video attachment to the research there is a clear picture of perpetrator’s face. It makes doubtful investigation’s difficulties with identifying the offender.

According to Section 19 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, everyone is equal in front of the law. The state guarantees equal human and civil rights and freedoms regardless of any believes or belonging to any social group.

According to Section 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, mass meetings and demonstrations, marches and pickets.

The Russian LGBT Network urges Khabarovsk Kray Prosecutor’s office to pay utmost attention to this case and to verify the hypothesis that that attack was committed by a group or individual with radical political views motivated by hatred against social group “LGBT”.

Open letter