June 7th, 2016
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a worrisome authoritarian movement in Russia. Many of its members are known criminals. They go after anyone who is vulnerable, just to demonstrate their contempt for the rule of law.
Datsik has a huge criminal background. He is an ex-fighter and boxer. Datsik has been imprisoned several times. He is a former member of the ultranationalist Slavic Union, which has similar political ideologies as Nazi Germany. The Slavic Union was banned in Russia because of their promotion of hatred. On the 17th of March, 2016 he was released from prison and at the end of April he said he intended to run for the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg. If elected, he has promised he will promote laws against sex work. Datsik believes the penalty for sex work in Russia should be forced labour instead of fines.
Datsik filmed all of the illegal raids and shared these videos with the media. The media did not cover the faces of sex workers and clients. On the video Datsik humiliates the client by asking him whether he wanted to transmit HIV to his wife. During the illegal raid, he used hateful speech and was violent towards an African sex worker.
After that Datsik forced the 10 sex workers and the client to follow him to the police station on foot. While walking he and his supporters continued humiliating the sex workers and the client, filming them with their cameras. They forced the naked women to wear leaflets with sexual advertisements. The neighbours filmed the naked women and posted their photos and videos on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and Russian social network Vkontakte.
After the sex workers were taken to the police, an administrative report for their “engagement in prostitution” was completed for each of them.
The members of Silver Rose, a sex workers-led organisation based in St Petersburg, immediately reacted to this accident. Three lawyers from Silver Rose arrived at the police station. For several hours sex workers did not have any clothes. They only had towels to cover their bodies.
According to Irina Maslova, the leader of Silver Rose, this is not the first time Datsik has committed crimes against sex workers. In the past he threatened and raped several sex workers. “What he did is a crime against people that have civic rights. He should be held accountable. We will do all possible and impossible to hold him accountable. We will write to the Commissioner for Human Rights. He should go to the prison. In 2015 Russia received the recommendation from CEDAW to remove the punitive article 6.11 that criminalises sex workers. We will insist on implementation of this recommendation.”