At least four people were injured Sunday after a gay club in the city of Tolyatti in southernRussia was attacked, local LGBT activists said, according to a report from BuzzFeed.

The incident occurred early Jan. 4 at the gay club Fantom in Tolyatti, Russia, according to local media (via BuzzFeed). According to activists, at least one person was sent to the hospital and three others sustained injuries.

The activist claim the club's management tried to downplay the attack and denied ties to the LGBT community. They called the attack as a "run-of-the-mill bar fight after reports appeared on Russian-language LGBT websites," BuzzFeed writes.

But local LGBT rights activists like Konstantin Golava, a member of the Gay Liberation Front, says the attack may have been premeditated and wants the suspects to be brought to justice. He also urged gay men and women, who are most likely not out in a small city like Tolyatti, to stand up for their rights and file police reports for anti-LGBT violence.

"Gay people create a comfortable ghetto for themselves in clubs, one that seems safe to them," Golava told local media (via BuzzFeed). "There's nothing wrong with going out and having fun, but it's also necessary to defend oneself and other LGBTQ people, defend your rights, and not grumble that activists are 'embracing and provoking' and that 'our rights are not being violated.'"

The Human Rights Watch reported in December that anti-LGBT violence has increased in Russia since President Vladimir Putin approved the highly controversial so called "homosexual propaganda" law in 2013.

This isn't the first time a gay event has been attacked. In September 2014, at least 16 people were hospitalized after a group allegedly stormed an LGBT festival in St. Petersburg. The attackers reportedly sprayed green paint and released gas during the event. It was also reported that lawmaker Vitaly Miloniov, who co-wrote the city's "homosexual propaganda" law before it went into effect on the federal level, was part of the group of anti-gay attackers, who wanted the event to be shut down.

From our media partner EDGE


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