Yelena Grigoryeva, a Russian LGBTQ activist who had been targeted on a ‘gay hunting’ website inspired by the horror film Saw, was murdered in St. Petersburg over the weekend. Grigoryeva’s body was found in bushes near her home.
The Moscow Times reports: ‘The activist had regularly received death threats and reported them to the police, who did nothing to protect her before she was murdered, fellow activist Dinar Idrisov wrote on Facebook on Monday. “A reminder: Yelena was listed on the homophobic ‘Saw’ website which has long threatened LGBT activists across the country,” photojournalist Georgy Markov wrote. Grigoriyeva had been stabbed at least eight times, the St. Petersburg Fontanka.ru news website reported.’
The BBC adds: “Police have not confirmed the reports of death threats and it is not clear if the attack was linked to her activism. A suspect has been detained in connection with her murder, according to Fontanka. Along with campaigning for LGBT rights, Ms Grigoryeva also demonstrated against Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, the ill treatment of prisoners and a number of other human rights causes.”
The NY Daily News reported on the Saw-inspired site, which was shut down last week: ‘Inspired by, and named after, the “Saw’ horror movie franchise, the website directed people to track down and assault people who were believed to be LGBTQ. When it started operating around April, 2018, “Saw” welcomed “gay hunters” in a “game” called “Chechnya’s Comeback.” It asked participants to find their targets, and publish their personal information online. According to GayStarNews.com, the site charged 200 rubles ($3) to go through its database. If someone found their name on the website, they had to pay 1,500 rubles ($23) to be removed. The “game” offered legal protection to “users,” and warned them that they could do anything, except kill the targets.’