St. Petersburg Libertarian Party activist Dimitri Chizhevsky has moved to Washington, D.C. He was the victim of an attack on a gay rights group in Russia in 2013 that left him partially blinded. We hope to interview him about his plans.
From the St. Petersburg Times:
ANTI-GAY POLITICIAN ADDS INSULT TO INJURY
Published: November 13, 2013 (Issue # 1786)
Libertarian Party activist Dmitry Chizhevsky, who received an eye injury during an attack on an LGBT community center, has blamed Russian politicians such as Vitaly Milonov, Yelena Mizulina and Irina Yarovaya, saying they inspired the attack by inciting hatred toward LGBT people. Meanwhile, LGBT rights activists have filed a complaint against Milonov with the prosecutor’s office over his comments on the attack.
“I feel really sorry for the stupid guys who did this to me,” wrote Chizhevsky, who was told by doctors that he would not regain sight in the eye injured by a metal pellet from a pneumatic pistol during the Nov. 3 incident, when the offices of LaSky AIDS-prevention group were attacked by two masked men.
“I realize they are only tools. The blame for what happened to my eye lies not with them but with every politician who has supported and encouraged the homophobic hysteria of recent months. My disability is on the conscience of Milonov, Mizulina, Yarovaya and other such politicians.
“If you had treated citizens like human beings, if you had not stuffed the heads of these guys with your hatred, none of this would have happened. You are responsible not only for my injury but also for these fellows, who are facing serious prison terms and ruined lives. Using all legal means, I will be avenged on each of you. The truth is on my side, and sooner or later you will answer for everything.” (The full English translation of Chizhevsky’s statement is available on the Russian Reader blog.)
Milonov, the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly’s United Russia deputy authored St. Petersburg’s 2012 law prohibiting “promotion of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism to minors,” has spoken against LGBT people in interviews and led a group of anti-gay protesters at an LGBT rights rally earlier this year. Mizulina , the State Duma’s A Just Russia deputy, is responsible for taking a similar law to the federal level. The State Duma’s United Russia deputy Yarovaya authored or co-authored a series of repressive laws, including a law obliging NGOs to register as “foreign agents” if they receive a subsidy from abroad as well as a law that increased fines for unauthorized protests.
Answering Chizhevsky’s accusations, Milonov said LGBT organizations themselves were to blame for the attack and alleged that the incident might have been an act of provocation to compromise anti-LGBT activists.
According to Milonov, some anti-gay activists are provoked by what he called the LGBT activists’ “continuously eccentric escapades, rudeness and acts of provocation.”