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Suspect in Murder of Journalist Ilya Zimin Considered a Hero in Moldova


Suspect in Murder of Journalist Ilya Zimin Considered a Hero in Moldova

2006/04/04. A Correspondent of the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets Svetlana Samodelova visited the native soil of Moldovan resident Igor Velchev, who is suspected of murdering Broadcast Journalist Ilya Zimin.

It turns out that Velchev "is practically considered a national hero and martyr in his hometown."

A local administration employee in the city of Taraklia, located in southern Moldova, shared his opinion with Svetlana that the operation to arrest Velchev in Moscow was just a charade for Moscow and the suspect was actually "given the chance to leave."

Local residents justify Velchevs actions, saying that "he murdered a homosexual." "A Dog deserves a dogs death," was how Svetlanas interviewee expressed his feelings regarding the death of the popular television journalist and about his homosexuality, which was often splashed across the tabloids.

"Imagine they get into the pants of your son. If hes a real man, what would he do?! Igor is a simple rural boy ... In order for him to lift a finger against anyone youd have to get him worked up. I can assume that Igor just responded to Zimins offer to get a drink together. I think Igor is suffering now because of his own naivety. Why was Zimin found naked? I think that my son just defended himself. And what happened later developed on the spur of the moment ... We country folk dont understand alternative lifestyles ... ," said the father of the suspect in Alexander Velchevs murder.

Moldova has retained an exceptionally high level of homophobia. "The Soviet Union always suffered from homophobia. The Union no longer exists ... but the phobia has remained..."

In Moldova same-gender sex has not been considered a crime since 1995. In Chisinau there is a fully functioning LGBT center GenderDok-M and this year marks the 6th annual Pride Festival, held in the capital. In spite of this, several times in 2005 Moldovan Gay activists turned to international organizations to bring to light homophobic statements made by high-ranking officials, including some from the FSB.

Translation by Timofey Grishin
Foto by Utro.Ru

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