Crackdown in the New Russia: LGBT rights in Russia and Crimea

Bogdan is Ukranian, Yegor is Russian but they never argued about the decision to leave Crimea after it was annexed by Russia. Image by Misha Friedman. Sevastopol, 2014.

LGBT activist Nikolai Baev. Image by Oleg Yakovlev. Russia, 2014.

Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 07:00pm EDT (GMT -0400)

The Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center, presents "Crackdown in the New Russia: LGBT rights in Russia and Crimea," with grantees Nora FitzGerald and Misha Friedman, and special guest Dmitry Chizhevsky, a Russian who was a victim of anti-LGBT violence in St. Petersburg. The session is the second in the Newseum-Pulitzer Center series on "Faith, Freedom, Sexuality & Silence."

Journalist Nora FitzGerald discusses her reporting on Russia's government crackdown on the LGBT community and how it fuels an increase in the AIDS epidemic in Russia. Photojournalist Misha Friedman shares images from "Crimea: The Human Toll" and "Official Homophobia in Russia" -- projects documenting the impact on the LGBT community in Crimea of the homophobic rhetoric now legitimized by federal law after Russia's military annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Dmitry Chizhevsky, now lives in Washington, D.C., and is seeking political asylum. In November 2013, Chizhevsky was the victim of a hate crime in St. Petersburg. He was at a community party at the local LGBT center when assailants burst in shouting anti-gay epithets and shooting people randomly with a pellet gun. As a result, he lost the sight in one eye.

Friedman photographed Chizhevsky in the hospital in St. Petersburg. There was no arrest at the time of the attack and a rather lackluster investigation, as often happens in Russia with these crimes. The violent attack reflects a disturbing trend of harassment and intimidation of the LGBT community, a trend that has worsened with the government crackdown of the past few years.

Reception follows the discussion.
Program is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Thursday, March 12
7:00 pm
Knight Conference Center, 7th Floor
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001

Reserve your seat today.

Friedman is a documentary photographer with a background in international relations and economics. His recent long-term projects deal with patriotism and corruption in Russia and the tuberculosis epidemic in the former Soviet Union. Friedman's work appears in leading international publications and has been recognized by a number of industry awards and grants.

FitzGerald has been a journalist for more than 20 years. She was a special correspondent for The Washington Post and International Herald Tribune from Moscow, Berlin and Warsaw, a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune from Warsaw and Berlin, and the Moscow correspondent for ARTnews. She is currently a freelance writer, as well as an independent editor for The Washington Post special sections. She has written about social issues and culture for Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Financial Times and USA Today.

This event is the second in "Faith, Freedom, Sexuality & Silence," a series of public events scheduled through 2015, and presented by the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute and the Pulitzer Center. Pulitzer Center grantees will discuss their reporting on LGBT issues internationally, focusing on the influence of religion on public attitudes toward LGBT people. Learn more.

The event is presented by the Pulitzer Center and the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute.