Gay Eurovision Entrant Says Russians Tore Up His Passport


Israel’s openly gay Eurovision entrant has claimed that Russian officials tore up his passport and humiliated him as he entered the country during a promotional tour.


Hovi Star told a Maltese TV station: “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 and they laughed at me.”

The 29-year-old singer had to procure a new passport from Russia’s Israeli embassy.

“In Moscow, people have a rough time with me, maybe because I’m gay, maybe because I dress like this, maybe because I wear makeup—I don’t know,” said Star.

Israeli Eurovision entrant Hovi Star

“It is amazing that this happened in the Eurovision bubble because my song, ‘Made of Stars,’ talks about equality, about how everyone was born the same,” explained the singer in the interview.

Although the incident happened several weeks ago, Star said he was compelled to speak out about after a fellow contestant, Spanish contestant Barei, who witnessed the event, mentioned it in an interview.

Eurovision event co-ordinator Dmitry Melnikov, denied Star’s claims. “There was in fact some delay when Star passed through passport control but no one intended to humiliate him in any way.”

“We were in daily contact with Hovi Star and his manager during their stay in Moscow and they never mentioned any incident in the airport. He was dressed in an eye-catching way and may have interpreted a standard smile of an airport official as abusive,” he added.

Israel’s foreign ministry released a statement confirming that the country’s embassy in Moscow issued a new passport for Star, real name Hovev Sekulets, reports The Telegraph.

Star will represent Israel in the annual competition which takes place in Sweden next month. Russia is currently the bookies’ favourite to win this year’s contest.

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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