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Brutal Anti-Gay Attacks Continue in Russia

The practice of luring Russian gay men out of their homes, beating and humiliating them and then posting the video on social media seems to be continuing unabated. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (h/t Towleroad), a video showing a man who is bullied into admitting he’s gay is circulating on a mobile phone application WhatsApp. RFE/RL reports that the victim, who appears to be an ethnic Uzbek, is then humiliated and tortured:

He is asked to identify himself and is stripped of his clothes, which are later burned. He is then handcuffed, beaten, insulted and threatened with a gun. Ultimately, he is forced to sodomize himself by sitting on a bottle, which is then pushed with a bat.

The man, visibly terrified, weeps throughout much of the ordeal.

Viewers on WhatsApp overwhelmingly praised the violence as a well-deserved punishment.

RFE/RL was able to track down a man who claimed to have taken part in the attack.

The Uzbek-speaking source, speaking from Russia, confirms that the victim was targeted because he is gay.

"We made him sit on a bottle so that he repents for his sins and comes to reason," he told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service. "We did this to protect the dignity of Uzbeks. We live and work here, we are in contact with people of different nationalities. There will be no respect for us otherwise."

According to the purported assailant, the attack took place on September 11 in Novosibirsk, where he himself is a student, and all the participants were ethnic Uzbeks.

He says the man was first detained by a group of Russian anti-gay vigilantes who lured him to a fake date through a social-networking website.

The vigilantes then allegedly handed him to the city's Uzbek community.

"Russian guys caught him and called us to say they had a gay Uzbek," the self-proclaimed author of the video said. "We then questioned him and he confessed to everything. There were six or seven of us. The Russians told us he was a pedophile, which he denied. But he confessed that he was gay."

RFE/RL has seen the video, but was unable to independently verify its authenticity, or the identities of those involved.