Russian authorities just closed down a website encouraging people to hunt down and torture LGBTQ individuals.
According to Newsweek, the site was up for a year. It published personal information about out and suspected gays and bisexuals. Named after the horror film Saw, the hate site promoted an event called Chechnya’s Comeback, a reference to reported gay crackdowns in the Eastern European nation.
The website allowed users to upload information identifying individuals and encouraging readers hunt them down.
Gay Star News reported the website had started selling that information to users for about $3, if they wanted to participate in hunting gay men.
The site also extorted money from individuals on the site by asking for a 1,500-ruble fee to have the personal information removed. Administrators promised legal protection to users hunting down LGBTQ people, and said they could do whatever,
“Anything but kill.”
The database included information on prominent figures like Igor Kotchetkov, an activist heavily involved in publicized the Chechnya gay crackdowns.
A message from the Russian LGBT Network said,
“The first reports that a homophobic group began to operate in Russia, organizing the hunt for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people, appeared in the spring of 2018. Despite the media attention, law enforcement agencies have still not done anything to find the creators of this “game” and bring them to justice.
The Russian LGBT Network invites all those who consider open calls to violence unacceptable to submit applications to the FSB, the Investigation Committee, the Prosecutor General’s Office.”