Sasha Masskva, a blogger from Tajikistan, was allegedly attacked by four people who tore his clothes off, threatened him and slapped him on the face in Moscow on 3 December 2018, reported local news channel TV Rain.
The blogger says religious fanatics and other Tajiks have “declared war on him” for being gay and “dishonouring Tajik men with his behaviour”, Radio Ozodi reported on 6 December.
In a video of the alleged assault at Park Kultury metro station, a person is seen hitting the blogger twice in the face. The camera pans across to show a police officer looking at his phone, seemingly unaware of what is going on.
Masskva said he was being chased by three men and a woman, also from Tajikistan, when a police officer approached and took them all back to a police room to check their documents, according to TV Rain.
The officer allegedly didn’t respond to Masskva’s complaints of assault, so he complained to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and was told “since there is no evidence, bruises and injuries, it is necessary to write an explanatory note”. His alleged attackers were released and later uploaded the video of the incident.
Masskva said the incident occurred because of his blog, which is followed by more than 8,000 people, and his Instagram account where he posts videos of himself lip-syncing popular songs. He has allegedly received death threats for the past year; in one video a Sheikh allegedly offered a monetary reward for Masskva’s address, Radio Ozodi reported.