Russian ‘gay hunting’ website shut down, but LGBT activists warn it could make a return

Russian ‘gay hunting’ website shut down, but LGBT activists warn it could make a return
News
Posted on 23 Jul 2019

A Russian website charging money to anybody wanting to find out personal information about allegedly gay people so that they can hunt them, has been shut down by the country’s authorities. But LGBT activists have warned that it could make a return, just as it has done in the past.


Launched last year, Saw took its branding from the horror movie franchise of the same name and welcomed ‘gay hunters’, providing them with access to a database of info about LGBTs. 

Any individual whose name appeared on the database was required to pay to have it removed.


The website called the gay hunt ‘Chechnya’s Comeback’, a reference to the Russian republic in which there was a gay ‘purge’ in 2017. 

The website allowed users to ‘report’ people who they suspected were queer, and also to upload photos, personal details and information about how to find them.


News of the website being taken down coincides with the death of 41-year-old bisexual LGBTI activist Yelena Grigoryeva, whose body was found in St Petersburg on Sunday (21 July). 

According to Gay Star News, a source confirmed that Grigoryeva had been killed after her name appeared on the Saw website. It’s reported that police found seven stab wounds on her body.


Russia’s LGBTI community doesn’t have any legal protections from discrimination and violence, and has lived in fear of persecution since President Putin signed the ‘gay propaganda law’ six years ago. The law prevents the publication and presentation of any content which portrays homosexuality as being a norm in society.

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