Head of Russian Neo-Nazi, Anti-Gay Group Flees to Cuba
The leader of a neo-Nazi anti-gay Russian group, which tortures and humiliates LGBT youth, has fled to Cuba after spending months running away from authorities, news site Vocativ reports.
Maxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the anti-gay/neo-Nazi group "Occupy Paedophilia," first fled to Ukraine but has now settled in Cuba, according to a Wednesday interview with Russian news site Life News.
Martsinkevich recently took to VKontakte, a Russian social media site, to write that he fled to Cuba around Dec. 10. Vocativ reports that laws allow Russians to visit Cuba for up to 30 days if they do not have a visa. Martsinkevich apparently does not have a visa, which means he will have to stay in the country illegally or soon leave. Additionally, Martsinkevich, known as "Teask" (Russian for the cleaver), says he doesn't have the money to fly home, however.
On Christmas Martsinkevic wrote a plea on his VKontakte account:
"Attention! Official dispatch from Freedom Island (i.e. Cuba)!
An offer regarding the investigation and trial.
The case against me is very unusual. There are no victims. No damages. The investigation was done by incompetents. The crimes were committed virtually. I was charged without being present. I was arrested in absentia.
Contrary to Interpol statutes, there has been an international arrest warrant issued in my name. I do not recognize my guilt. I am currently in Latin America and do not have the money to return to Russia.
Given the above and thinking logically, I ask the following:
To hold the questioning and trial in the open for the mass media to observe, with me being present via Skype. In case of conviction, I offer to serve the prison term virtually, by placing an avatar behind bars for the amount of time designated by the court.
That would be fair and just, and would help bring about legal innovation.
If you agree, repost this message.
Sincerely, Maxim Martsinkevich"
Martsinkevich also posted an image of himself behind bars with the caption: "Russia’s Neo-Nazi poster boy asks for help."
Vocativ reports that the Russian government charged him "with extremism in early November."
Martsinkevich and his group made international headlines for luring LGBT teens via social network websites, then torturing and humiliating them. Members of "Occupy Paedophilia" allegedly bullied their victims while recording them - sometimes in public during the day. Clips of the abuse were then posted online in order to out the teens to their family, friends and schools.
In one incident that occurred in November, the group attacked a gay contestant from Ukraine’s "X Factor" show. According to reports, Martsinkevich attacked Alexander Bohun, beating him repeatedly, threatening him with violence and forced him to make a series of false statements while being recorded.
"I was referred to as ’pedophile’ illegally, mocked, and forced to admit actions and desires that I have not committed in any circumstances, and I had to admit all that publicly," Bohun said.
Bohun’s lawyer, Elena Kherson, says Martsinkevich broke the law by accusing another man of a crime without an instigation or trial.
"There is no evidence of the involvement of Alexander Bohun, in the crime of which ’Slasher’ accused him," she said. "And most importantly, he [Bohun] is the victim." The clip shows Martsinkevich shaving Bohun’s head, painting it with a rainbow marker and then apparently makes him drink a cup of urine and pours urine over his head.
"Basically I would not kill you because you’re gay," Martsenkevich reportedly says in the video. "I would send you to a concentration camp, organize parades for gays there, dress you as a woman, and make you sing songs. Take a good care of you."
Martsinkevich and group made waves again in November when they lured and kidnappeda 20-year-old gay exchange student from Swaziland, Africa. The student, only known as "David Smith," was stripped and interrogated about his sexuality. He was slapped and taunted and the members of the group shaved his head. He was also forced to kiss and dance with a watermelon, which was later shoved in his face.
The victim, however, was returned to his native country in November, according to officials from Swaziland.
Vocativ reports that charges of extremism Martsinkevich currently faces are for inciting hatred and "humiliating human dignity" under Article 282 of the Russian criminal code. He could be sentenced to five years in prison.
It’s unknown of Russia’s highly controversial "homosexual propaganda" laws will impact Martsinkevich’s case.