A Russian neo-Nazi group calling itself "Occupy-Pedofilyay" has taken to luring LGBT teens with personal ads, then kidnapping and torturing them before making their victims "come out" to friends and family on camera, human rights groups claimed this week.
"Gay victims aged 12-16 are reportedly lured in by the group... led by Maxim Martsinkevich, known under the nickname "Cleaver," European LGBT news service Pink News reported Friday.
The Spectrum Human Rights Alliance, an LGBT group in eastern Europe, published an image Wednesday of an unidentified young man being held down by two older men wearing all-black. Their apparent victim has a red substance smeared on his chest and appears to be holding a sex toy.
The group claims that Cleaver, a skinhead and neo Nazi, uses the website VK.com to pose fake personal ads offering dates to LGBT youths. He and fellow "Occupy-Pedofilyay" members pounce when their victims respond and agree to meet up.
"These self-proclaimed 'crime fighters' perform their actions under the broad day light, often outside and clearly visible to general public that indifferently passes by or even commend them," Spectrum Human Rights Alliance claims. "Video recordings of bullying and tortures are freely distributed on the Internet in order to out LGBT teens to their respective schools, parents and friends. Many victims were driven to suicides, the rest are deeply traumatized."
A video published on Tuesday purports to show this very behavior as a 15-year-old boy is mocked and beaten before hoodlums spray him with urine.
Russia has experienced a surge of anti-LGBT sentiments in recent years amid a crackdown on activists that's seen the parliament pass a law forbidding anyone from equating gay and straight relationships. The country's highest court also upheld a ban on pride parades in Moscow last year, forbidding LGBT activists from marching for the next 100 years.
Russian Premiere Vladimir Putin also banned adoption of Russian orphans by LGBT couples abroad in an order that took effect on July 1, much to the delight of U.S. shock jock Rush Limbaugh.
A survey conducted by the Russian NGO Levada-Center last March found that 85 percent of Russians oppose same sex marriage. A further 34 percent said they believe LGBT people have contracted a disease that makes them this way, while five percent went so far as to say that LGBT people should be killed.