News 15.01.2015

Belarusian Court refuses to admit homophobia

For at least a few months a court proceeding regarding the beating of a homosexual Michail Pischevsky was discussed in Belarus (October 2014 – January 2015). In May 2014, a 31-year-old Michail Pischevsky was severely beaten after a dispute at the exit from a gay party in Minsk. As a result of the beatings, 20% of brain tissue was removed, Pischevsky spent a month in a coma and today his state can be considered vegetative.

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During the trial, all parties confirmed that the conflict and the beating of Pischevsky were triggered by an insult concerning his sexual orientation. Nevertheless, courts have twice refused to take this factor into account as a reason for accusations of hatred based on sexual orientation.

Both court decisions have pronounced the assailant guilty only on the basis of hooliganism and inflicting serious bodily harm. Bottom line: for almost a murder of a man (Pischevsky will never be able to live without constant medical supervision and external aid), the court pronounced a sentence of 2.8 years of imprisonment and compensation for moral damage and expenses on treatment.

Despite the fact that there is no precedent law in Belarus, the case of Pischevsky has still got publicity.

Pischevsky was never a LGBT activist, who have already adapted to the pressure from the state.