A gay journalist was stabbed a dozen times and left to slowly bleed to death in Russia.
Dmitry Tsilikin, a reporter and theater critic, was found dead in his apartment in St Petersburg n a pool of blood on 31 March.
Police said the attacker, a 21-year-old student Sergei Kosirev and Hitler admirer – who goes by the nickname – ‘The Cleaner’, has confessed.
Investigators believe Kosirev had gone to visit Tsilikin after meeting online. It is believed Kosirev intended to blackmail the journalist into giving him money in exchange for keeping his sexuality quiet.
But an argument broke out, and Tsilikin was stabbed a dozen times. He was left to slowly bleed to death.
Kosirev stole a laptop and a wallet before fleeing the scene, according to police.
Tanya Cooper, a Human Rights Watch researcher, said: ‘Russian officials and state media spread hateful, anti-LGBT rhetoric. In this environment, the absence of any concerted official efforts to condemn discrimination against LGBT people is effectively a carte blanche to engage in homophobic violence. As Natalia Tsymbalova, an LGBT activist who knew Tsilikin, told me “there will always be others who will go beyond words and express their hate through violence if they think it’s allowed.”
‘Until Russian authorities rein in their own hateful rhetoric, acknowledge their obligation to protect those who identify as LGBT and their supporters, and act on that obligation, the attacks will continue. And some, like Dmitry Tsilikin, will pay with their lives.’