Man Stabbed To Death In Russian Village In Homophobic Attack

This is the second crime in less than a month that police have said was motivated by homophobia. Russian authorities usually resist classifying such attacks as hate crimes.

Russian police officers detain a gay rights activist with his flag during an attempt to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, May 27, 2012. Mikhail Metzel / AP

Russian investigators said Monday that villagers in Kamchatka kicked and stabbed a man to death because he “had a non-traditional sexual orientation.”

After killing the 39-year-old, a deputy director of the local airport, the suspects allegedly put his body in his car, soaked it in gasoline, and set it alight, reports AFP.

The announcement is notable because Russian authorities rarely say that anti-gay bias is involved in such assaults. It comes at a time of rising restrictions placed on LGBT rights in the country, including the shutting down of a pride parade in Moscow and a a proposal to prohibit foreign same-sex couples from adopting Russian children.

This is the second time in less than a month that investigators have declared an attack had been motivated by homophobia.

The murder in Kamchatka follows an attack in Volgagrad in early May in which a 23-year-old man was raped with beer bottles and then beaten to death.

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J. Lester Feder is a foreign correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
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