Russian politician who urged for gays to be whipped in public to be investigated

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A human rights group in Russia has asked prosecutors to look into the homophobic comments of a politician who urged for the Cossack community to flog gay people in public squares.

Alexander Mikhailov, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the Trans-Baikal Parliament, said he planned to put forward the violent proposal as a new regional law last month.

Speaking to the Chita news agency Mr Mikhailov linked gay people to paedophiles and described homosexuality as a “common shame”.

He added that his province should adopt a law in which officials have the right to flog the “asses” of gay people.

Vitaly Cherkasov, head of the Zabaikalsky Human Rights Centre, said he believed that Mr Mikhailov’s remarks could help incite hatred toward the gay community among locals. The regional prosecutor’s office said it would respond to the group’s request to evaluate the legality of the comment.

Last month, Labour MEP Michael Cashman said “hate speech” from President Putin and others has resulted in the “barbaric killing of gay men”.

Mr Putin signed into law a ban preventing same-sex couples from adopting children earlier this week.