Hunted in Russia: A documentary on homophobic violence

Being gay in Russia often means being frightened, and even ... being hunted. We speak to Ben Steele, the director of 'Hunted in Russia', a disturbing documentary on the CBC's Passionate Eye. Photo: Ben Steele, © Blakeway Productions


Russia's anti-gay propaganda law not only remains in force, it may even encourage hate crimes. We hear from a documentary filmmaker who infiltrated a Russian gang that tracks down, abducts and torments gay men. The vigilantes are not especially worried about being arrested -- they photograph the humiliations and post them on the internet.

"This video allegedly filmed in West Siberia, actually shows a man who was forced to say he was gay ... and you can see he has put a gun to his head to force him to say that he is gay and give his name, his address ... other personal information. In the video you can see that he is terrified, he's crying ... he is shaking. They threaten him with death. He knows that he is probably going to die."

Tania, a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Russia

The video Tania describes is part of a bloody terror campaign by anti-gay vigilantes in Russia. It's part of a disturbing documentary making its North American premiere on the Passionate Eye on the CBC News Network, tomorrow night at 10 Eastern and Pacific.

Ben Steele is the director of Hunted in Russia. He met and filmed some of these vigilantes. Ben Steele was in London, England.

We contacted the Russian Embassy in Ottawa to invite them to respond to some of the issues raised in the documentary. We were told that no one was available to comment.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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