Suspected Anti-LGBTQ Arsonist Seeks Asylum in Russia

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday November 24, 2020

Eduardo Fauzi
Eduardo Fauzi   (Source:YouTube video/Jornal da Gazeta)

A Brazilian man accused of violently attacking a movie company that depicted Jesus Christ as gay is seeking asylum in Russia his September arrest in Moscow, RT reports.

Eduardo Fauzi is one of approximately five suspects in what prosecutors characterize as attempted murder, allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at Portados Fundos studio in Rio de Janeiro, where a security guard was stationed in the building at the time of the attack.

The studio was involved with the 2019 production of "The First Temptation of Christ," a comedy film in which Jesus brings a boyfriend home to meet his family. When the film aired on Netflix, it sparked outrage to the point that over two million people have signed a petition to ban the film.

While Brazil seeks to extradite Fauzi for trial, he is seeking refugee status because, as his attorneys have said, his life has been threatened by an "extremist gay community" in Brazil. Vitaly Chernykh, Russian lawyer for Fauzi, said Brazilian LGBTQ activists had threatened him with "reprisals, declaring that they would not tolerate such manifestations of homophobia and aggression."

Adding that "these gay circles are associated with drug trafficking," the attorney said Fauzi "believes that when he is extradited and goes to a local prison, the Brazilian state will not be able to protect him." Arguing that Fauzi only acted because his "Christian beliefs" had been "offended" by the film, he believes his client would be privy to more protection in the notoriously anti-LGBTQ Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs will interview Fauzi to determine whether he should be granted asylum. However, because his visa has expired, if his application for asylum is unsuccessful he is likely to be deported.

While Brazil has some of the most comprehensive LGBTQ rights and protections, the Catholic country and its current right-wing government, led by the brashly homophobic president Jair Bolsonaro, has repeatedly clashed with activists in recent years.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

Comments on Facebook