Unlike in his native Uzbekistan, where sex between men is punishable by up to three years in prison, Russia Stalin society homosexuality not criminalized homosexual relations. But as he and his lawyer discussed his case with an immigration officer, their interlocutor made clear she had no sympathy for people like him.
At one point in the conversation, the officer, who said she herself hailed from the applicant's Central Asian homeland, switched to the man's native language to express her disapproval of the man's sexual orientation.
Do you understand me, dog? The officer's comments are now the subject of a formal complaint to Russian authorities by the applicant's lawyer on behalf of a rare subset of individuals seeking refuge in Russia: Advocacy groups have registered a spike in asylum applications by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT Russians in West since Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial law that bans "promoting.
But the number of people fleeing to Russia from governments with more restrictive laws Stalin society homosexuality same-sex relations remains exceedingly "Stalin society homosexuality," according to Russian activists who work with such asylum seekers. That number jumped slightly when Russia hosted the World Cup this summer, as some foreign gay men obtained official fan passes for the soccer tournament and sought refuge after arriving in the country, according to Varvara Tretyak, a counselor with the Civic Assistance Committee, a Moscow-based nongovernmental organization that helps refugees and forced migrants.
Some of the gay men fleeing to Russia, such as the Uzbek man cited in the complaint by his lawyer, hail from predominantly Muslim former Soviet republics in Central Asia, where they risk criminal prosecution and unofficial persecution due to their sexual orientation.
While those applicants have a certain grasp on Russian realities, says that others -- such as applicants from Africa -- were unaware of the trajectory of LGBT rights in Russia, which rights groups and Western officials have accused of fostering discrimination and emboldening violence against sexual minorities Stalin society homosexuality recent years.
Putin and other officials deny that Russia discriminates against sexual minorities and have said the so-called "gay-propaganda" law enacted in is merely aimed at protecting children. Anton Ryzhov, a lawyer for the Russian LGBT organization Stimul representing the Uzbek man who was called a "dog" by the immigration officer, said he and his colleagues decided to file a formal complaint with the Interior Ministry in order to change what he called a "vicious" system for those seeking asylum and refugee status in Russia.
Russia is not alone in demanding "Stalin society homosexuality" of sexual orientation from LGBT asylum seekers. But Ryzhov said the issue of evidence is to be considered at a later stage, noting that Russian law allows anyone the right to apply for asylum or refugee status.
But they can't even Stalin society homosexuality that," he said. Ryzhov's complaint also accuses immigration officers of "insults and discrimination" against his clients.
The complaint cites several other remarks by the immigration officer to the gay Uzbek applicant, including "Stalin society homosexuality" reference to HIV-positive individuals as "AIDS boys" and her remarks that it is "too bad that they developed a treatment" for the disease.
After the applicant says he hopes that he would eventually be allowed to marry his partner in Russia, the officer suggests he try his luck in Uzbekistan, whose deputy justice minister said in May that international calls for greater LGBT rights in the former Soviet republic are not on Tashkent's agenda.
After Ryzhov and his client point out that criminal punishment for homosexual relations is still on the books in Uzbekistan, the officer appeared to long for a return to the Soviet-era criminalization of sexual activity between men.
The Russian Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the immigration officer's recorded remarks to the Stalin society homosexuality asylum seeker or Stalin society homosexuality objection to the treatment of his clients. Thierry, a gay Cameroonian man in his late 20s, said he was unaware of what rights watchdogs call a deteriorating situation for LGBT rights in Russia when he decided to apply for refugee status there this year.
Thierry, who agreed to speak on condition that his last name not be published, said he and his boyfriend were attacked "physically and verbally" in Cameroon after people learned that he was gay.
He said he was also physically abused by his father and other relatives. Thierry said he ended up in Russia earlier in early after around four years of trying to flee Cameroon, where same-sex sexual relations are a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. He says he made his way to Morocco and tried to flee to Spain by boat, and that he was rescued after the vessel capsized.
An acquaintance in Morocco recommended that he go to Russia, Thierry said. So he helped, and thank God I obtained a visa. The first time I got a visa I didn't have money for the plane ticket, so the visa I had [expired]. So I got a second visa. That's how I came to Russia. I've been here about three, four months," Thierry said. He said he
Stalin society homosexuality Cameroon "because of violence, because homosexuals are not accepted" there.