13:26 Apr. 24, 2016
Russian authorities deny that Hovi Star's sexual orientation was connected to the incident which took place at passport control
Israel's representative to Eurovision 2016, Hovi Star, was humiliated at the Moscow airport because he is a homosexual, according to Israeli media reports.
Several weeks ago he was traveling through Moscow with other performers as part of the Eurovision tour when he was mistreated at passport control because of his sexual orientation.
"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," Star said. "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."
Star had to visit the Israel embassy in Russia to get a new passport.
"There was in fact some delay when Star passed through passport control but no one intended to humiliate him in any way," explained Dmitry Melnikov, the event coordinator for the Moscow leg of the tour.
Star explained that he visited Russia multiple times but that this experience was "unpleasant."
"I choose love. It's free. There's no need for hate, there's no need for negativity," said Star. "I choose to really take it as a lesson, I don't take it personally."
Star, 29, whose real name is Hovev Sekulets, will represent Israel in the annual contest to take place in Sweden next month after winning the final round of the reality TV singing competition HaKokhav Haba. Full story