Hovi Star, Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest entrant, has spoken out about suffering a homophobic attack in Moscow airport, Russia, when he visited the controversial country as part of his Eurovision promo tour.
Hovi was in Russia to plug his Eurovision entry ‘Made Of Stars’ but passport control officers and Russian police allegedly ripped up his passport in a suspected homophobic incident.
Speaking out during a television interview in Malta, Hovi claimed: “Maybe people in Moscow have a rough time with people like me, maybe because I’m gay, maybe because I dress like this, maybe because I wear make-up, I don’t know.
"But when I wanted to get into Moscow, I had problems with passport control. They told me I can’t go in, they looked at my passport, they ripped my passport. It’s amazing that this happened in the Eurovision bubble because my song Made of Stars it talks about equality it talks about how everybody is the same, everybody was born the same, everybody will die the same.
"Let’s take this as a lesson. I don’t take it personally, I really like Sergei Lazarov and I like Russia. This wasn’t a nice experience, we live, we learn, we continue, we smile and we give free love to everyone.”
Moscow airport have not commented on the allegations.
Hovi was eventually allowed into Russia to perform at the Eurovision event but says that he had to go to the Israeli Consulate in Moscow to get a new passport in order to continue with his promotional tour.
The singer has gained a lot of support from other countries and is expected to make the Eurovision final, which takes place in Stockholm on May 14th, however Russia’s entrant Sergey Lazarov is currently the favourite to win the competition.
Hovi’s allegations against Russia just add to the growing concerns surrounding Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws, which continue to tighten.