Moscow Self Appointed Police with Machine Guns Raid LGBT Russian Film Premier

By Melanie Nathan, April 22, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 3.38.26 PMAccording to a note from Masha Gessen, Russian  ‘Self-proclaimed volunteer police are raiding a Moscow gallery where a Russian film about LGBT teenagers was slated to premier today. With the help of actual uniformed police armed with machine guns they are holding 200 people hostage in the space and checking documents, apparently looking for minors. The woman in the picture is holding a poster that says, “Russia does not need Western decadence.”

Note, the Anti-Gay law in Russia prohibits the so called “promotion” of homosexuality to minors. This can be interpreted in many ways. The persecutory nature of this raid – whether the usual vigilante mob that takes justice into its own hands, or real police, matters not – what matters is that the unjust law lends itself to persecution of this minority group of people.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE from Russian site:

Scheduled for 19:30 premiere of the documentary “Children 404 “, dedicated to the fate of the Russian LGBT teenagers in the Moscow center Artplay was interrupted. With the support of her police prevent people posing as vigilantes , transfers from the hall reporter ” Sitibuma .” POLICE locked out of the room , about ten squads with St. George ribbons and posters “Western depravity not pass ” check documents and seeking minors. Closer to 21:00 to help them come more police patrol with machine guns . In the hall of about 200 spectators , no one out .

“Children 404 ” – a film directors Askold Kurova and Paul Lopareva under “Cinema believe “, a joint project Colta.ru and Heinrich Boell Foundation . His name shall eponymous film group “Vkontakte” , bringing together adolescents who suffer from social and state oppression of sexual minorities . Group tried to close Vitaly Milonow . The film was shot in a semi-secret setting and with the help of international kraudfandinga . The international premiere is scheduled for April 28 in Toronto.

Updated . Reporter ” Sitibuma ” reports that spectators from the audience is still not released . At the entrance there are grandmothers with icons and police . Appeared investigator . All say that they will only produce documents – apparently seeking minors. Now the hall is a discussion of the film.

Obnovleno, 1:11. Otvetstvennost’ za aktsiyu v tsentre Artplay vzyalo na sebya nekoye Natsional’no-Osvoboditel’noye Dvizheniye Rossii. Ob etom aktivistka Mariya Kasatonova soobshchila na svoyey stranitse vKontakte, gde ona poziruyet s flagom Donetskoy respubliki.
Updated 22:05 . Reporter ” Sitibuma ” reports that police check the documents of the audience – looking minors passport data overwrites one girl . Gives guidance to police officers in plain clothes woman . Those who presented documents, started releasing people try to go in groups , fearing an attack . According to the organizers of the show, they seize a copy of the film. Arrived on the scene of the defenders of “Memorial” and provocateurs who initiated the attack left. Marina Razbezhkina documentary , which one of the authors studied film Askold Kurov , said that the sequel will be removed .

Updated , 22:38 . According to ” Novaya Gazeta”:

” As the ” New “Michael Ratgauz , deputy editor of the site Colta.ru, one of the organizer of the show, 40 minutes after the beginning of the show at the entrance to the cinema there were people with placards ” Sodom out of Russia ” and camcorders. ” The club holds them for a while , but then they broke into the room, began to cry , tried to disrupt the show” – says Michael Ratgauz – arrive at their call police , they stated that the hall has minor audience , that ‘s not true , because we double- checked all the passports. The police were soon on our side, to check the documents she did not , they were taken from the audience , the show continued.

According to the present at the show director Marina Razbezhkina , ” Orthodox activists ” within the purview of the infamous Dmitry Enteo . Most of his was not among them . ”

Updated , 22:40 . According to our reporter : ” The situation is somewhat exhausted. Approximately half of the audience dispersed, the remaining continue discussion of the film . The police is on the way out and on presentation of a passport release of the willing ” .

Updated 22:56 . ” I did not have a passport , I was interrogated for five minutes – how old I am , how I got to the show , who checked age at the entrance .”

Updated 23:11 . Reporter ” Sitibuma ” reports that discussion is finished, all gone . Viewers police released last longer requiring to submit documents and simply asking the year of birth .

Updated 1:11 . Responsibility for the action in the center Artplay assumed some national liberation movement in Russia. This activist Maria Kasatonov reported on his page MySpace, where she poses with the flag of the Republic of Donetsk .

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