Manager of Gay Moscow Nightclub Targeted in Attacks to Seek Asylum in U.S.

Arkady Gyngazov, the former manager of Central Station, a gay nightclub in Moscow which in recent months has been targeted with bullets, poison gas, and vandalism, flew to the U.S. in mid-December and plans to seek asylum, the Washington Blade's Michael Lavers reports:

GyngazovHe told the Blade he has obtained a pro bono lawyer through Immigration Equality and the D.C. Center who agreed to take his case. Gyngazov has also worked with Larry Poltavtsev of Spectrum Human Rights, an organization that monitors the Kremlin’s LGBT rights record, since he arrived in the nation’s capital.

Gyngazov said he will formally seek asylum once his visa expires in June.

“I’m not going to go back to Russia because I feel my safety, even my life, is threatened,” he said.

In December, the club's roof was dismantled by over 100 people and the club robbed. This comes after a poison gas attack in late November and a shooting in mid-November in which thugs with handguns fired on the club.

Gyngazov says it has become too much to bear:

Gyngazov told the Blade during an interview from Moscow after the Nov. 16 incident the owners of the building placed a large neon sign above the club’s entrance the month before that reads “gay club here.” It also contains an arrow that points toward the door.

“I’m afraid because I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, what will happen to me,” he said on Thursday. “I’m not going to hide all my life.”


  1. says

    @Randal I have yet to see proof that asylum seekers have better chances in Canada. Unfortunately it’s hit or miss in both countries.

    I’ve participated in one hearing in Canada that failed, and in many hearings in the US that succeeded.

  2. DavidMMM says

    @ Randal; Canada may have better legal protections for LGBT Canadians than the US, but we have homophobia/anti-gay attitudes here too. Gay rights weren’t achieved here by popular vote (nor should they have been), but it might give a false impression to people not from this country.

    We gays in Canada have to be careful here too. Let me put it this way; I’m glad I work out, know how to fight, and don’t get drunk/inebriated in public. There is still work to be done on the social level.

  3. Toddy Out West says

    Being made a target every time you stand-up like this was how it was here in the US for a very long time, and not very long ago.

    While I don’t necessarily fault the younger generation for not being particularly aware of it or what it was like to survive that era, I do think it’s a real shame our history is not being properly imparted…

    If there had been somewhere else to flee TO, most certainly and without reservation, many of us undoubtedly would have…

    You don’t know what we lived through. Talk to someone who can articulate it.

  4. MaryM says

    He deserves asylum.

    by the way the Dutch King, Queen and prime minister have spat in the face of human rights and will be attending these fascist games. Ugly pigs the lot of them

  5. Gay Guy says

    In case it’s not granted, he should also apply in Canada. Although some Canadians commented that Canada still has “issues,” the legal status of the LGBT community is somewhat better that in the U.S., even given that there’s a “Conservative” regime in power.

  6. andrew says

    Contrary to the rant of MARYM, the Dutch Prime Minister, The King and Queen of the Netherlands and the overwhelming majority of the people of the Netherlands are strong supporters of equality for LGBT people. The Dutch government has strongly condemned Russia’s anti gay laws. Relations between the two countries has strained over this very issue. In announcing that the P.M. and the Royals would attend the games they said: “We see nothing to be gained by a boycott. It is better to engage in dialogue.” This is a reasonable position that knee jerk ranters fail to see.

Leave A Reply