Kaleidoscope Trust: Hate attacks have increased in Russia since the passing of anti-gay laws

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The Kaleidoscope Trust says there’s been an increase in violence against LGBT people in Russia following the passing of anti-gay legislation.

A federal bill banning gay “propaganda” was signed into law by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in June.

It prescribes fines for providing information about homosexuality to people under the age of 18 – ranging from 4,000 roubles (£78) for an individual to 1m roubles (£19,620) for organisations.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk at Saturday’s central London demonstration against the laws, Alistair Stewart, the assistant director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said: “Certainly our feeling and the feeling of our [Russian] partners seems to be that it’s getting worse in the sense these laws add to a climate of fear and also work to justify a range of abuses against LGBT people.

“Our partners in Russia are recording an increase level of violence: both spontaneous violence but also quite disturbingly premeditated and arranged violence.”

Along with several other international LGBT campaign groups, the Kaleidoscope Trust opposes a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

“There are a number of tools to be used and sometimes those tools seem to act in opposition to each other,” Mr Stewart said to PinkNews.co.uk. “The calls for a boycott I think are inevitably placing pressure on the International Olympic Committee to make a stronger stand than they have already, and also I think its placing pressure on the Russian Government as well.”

Mr Stewart added: “However, we as an organisation are not calling for a boycott; we are following the lead of our partners in Russia that are largely arguing for a large LGBT presence at the Games – and we think the Games will be an amazing platform to have this issue heard on the international stage.”