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This article originally appeared on Outsports. It could be dangerous. The same message is there for black and ethnic minority fans — do go to the World Cup but be cautious. If you have gay fans walking down the street holding hands, will they face danger in doing so — that depends on which city they are in and the time of day. It is not a crime to be gay but there is a law against the promotion of homosexuality to minors.
Humanitarian organizations, primarily LGBT Network, who have offered shelter to the victims in order to help mediate their release, have denounced the violence which the inmates have had to suffer, ranging from being beaten with rubber tubes to electrocutions. Regardless of the significance of the events, Russian society has remained silent in their regards. According to the polls, most Russians still consider homosexuality as a disease. A return to traditional, orthodox values is being used as a political tool, aimed at reaching specific goals both at home and abroad which may explain the silence of the authorities in regards to this case. Its vague formulation leaves room for different interpretations and, therefore, applications.
Mr Lapunov was the only man who lodged an official complaint with the police following the alleged violence. The Russian citizen was living in Chechnya, an autonomous, mainly Muslim region of Russia, at the time of his arrest. Despite his criminal complaint, a North Caucasus court ruled in against opening a criminal investigation into the case. Their client is now seeking compensation from the Russian government, for failing to protect him from torture, discrimination and unlawful detention. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.