A French gay football fan and his companion attending the World Cup in Russia have reportedly been assaulted in St. Petersburg. A report from the OperSlil Telegram channel, which was quoted by multiple outlets including the UK-based publication PinkNews, named the fan as O. Davrius. The Frenchman is reported to have suffered brain injuries and a fractured jaw. The OperSlil Telegram report read: “Even though the injured are homosexuals, it does not justify the monsters who beat him.” The report said the severity of the attack on the Frenchman had left him “disabled.” The alleged attackers were arrested and named as Ismet Gaidarov, 25, and Rasul Magomedov, 24, from Dagestan.
The reported attack occurred after bigots threatened to stab LGBT football fans attending the tournament. The British Football Supporters’ Federation had warned LGBT fans not to show signs of affection toward their partners when in Russia. The St. Petersburg attack also comes as noted human rights and LGBT activist Peter Tatchell was detained and later freed by police after mounting a one-man protest near Red Square over Russia’s LGBTQ human-rights record. Tatchell was holding a placard which read: “Putin fails to act against Chechnya torture of gay people.” In April last year, international outrage followed reports that hundreds of gay men had been detained and tortured, and some killed, by Chechen authorities.