Earlier this week, in an interview with Spanish media, Barei revealed that Hovi Star had been on the receiving end of humiliating treatment from border guards at Moscow airport. Hovi was recently a guest on a Maltese talkshow where he discussed the incident.

Hovi started by describing the experience, saying he wasn’t exactly sure why he was targeted.

“In Moscow, people have a rough time with people like me, maybe because I’m gay, maybe because I dress like this, maybe because I wear makeup – I don’t know. But when I wanted to get into Moscow, I had problems with the passport control and they told me I can’t go in. They looked at my passport — they ripped my passport — and then they laughed at me.”

The Israeli singer also discussed how surprised he was that the incident happened while travelling a Eurovision event:

“It’s amazing that this happened in the Eurovision bubble. My song, “Made of Stars”, it talks about equality. It talks about how everyone is the same, everybody was born the same, everybody will die the same. And I always say, give love — it’s free. There’s no need for hate, there’s no need for negativity. And I choose to really take it as a lesson.”

But he’s not holding any grudges, and especially holds no ill will against Russia’s artist Sergey Lazarev:

“I don’t take it personally. I have to tell you, I really like Sergey Lazarev, I really like his song, and I like Russia. I’ve been there many times. But it wasn’t a nice experience, but we live, we learn, we continue, we smile and we give free love to everyone.”

Hovi Star on Moscow Airport homophobia

News of the incident first came to light when Barei explained the incident in a recent interview in Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. The Spanish singer said she felt so embarrassed when the guards at the passport control began laughing at Hovi because he was wearing makeup.

“They laughed at him and they left his passport invalid, and then they didn’t even look at any of the passports from the others”, Barei commented. She was even prepared to make a scene.

Following this situation, Barei said that if she was gay, she wouldn’t vote for Russia at Eurovision.

Stating that she doesn’t have anything against Sergey Lazarev — although his song is not her cup of tea — Barei said that “seeing how gays are treated, I wouldn’t vote for Russia if I were gay”.

The Russian airport incident has fans concerned. With Sergey Lazarev a favourite to win Eurovision, LGBT Eurovision fans are concerned about how they would be treated if they travelled to a potentially Russian-hosted Eurovision in 2017. However,  the EBU requires that all host countries sign an agreement guaranteeing the safety of all those going to Eurovision.

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OR
Guest
OR

@Rita Pozzo
No dear i’m not barei, im a straight israeli woman that fight homophobia and antisemitic… So please your comment insult me……. and yes Hovi star is the winner for me this year regardless who will really win!

Rita Pozzo
Guest
Rita Pozzo

@OR are you Barei? like undercover? lol

OR
Guest
OR

@Rita Pozzo
No , you should relax, and dont blame Barei, because she was brave to tell this awful story , good for her!! and hovi u are the best !!

Rita Pozzo
Guest
Rita Pozzo

Drama Drama
they are trying to play Conchita Wurst game…

Someone insults straight person no one cares. Someone insults gay THE WHOLE WORLD GOES MAD.

Do you want equall right now or speacial right?
I don’t justify their behaviour but come on this does not have to affect Eurovision results…so Barei girl you better relax.

STT
Guest
STT

Barei’s not a multimillionaire. She was born in a multimillionaire family from her father’s side, but her father died one year after and her mother moved away from the “wealthy part” of the family and started a new life with Bárbara and the rest of her sons/daughters.

She wouldn’t buy anything as that’s not her lifestyle. People comes first for her as she has proved in this story, considering the damage all these rumours and manipulated news will cause to her candidacy. Her sister Lourdes is also a well-known philantrophist in Spain, so guess it’s a family thing.

Vic
Guest
Vic

Barei’s a multimillionaire. It’s been in the medias in Spain. She doesn’t need to tell a lie to win votes, don’t be ridiculous. She could buy the whole thing if she wanted so cut the crap.

oxyk
Guest
oxyk

@David Who, they hold not only POWs, unfortunately. there’s at least 30 of our civilian citizen whim they just caught in Crimea (film director Oleg Sentsov for example), one old man (72) with cancer whom they jailed for espionage and won’t let our attorneys even know details of his case (its secret by their laws). that man just visited Russia on business matter, he’s factory worker or something like that – still we can’t get him back home or even learn what happens to him. recently one guy who also visited Russia on business and has been took off his… Read more »

#Justice4Margaret
Guest
#Justice4Margaret

Another reason why Russia shouldn’t win – the other being the fact that their song is mediocre.

saschee
Guest
saschee

Why is the guy in the video charging against Barei?! it’s not her fault what happened, she just defended Hovi and speaks out about an injustice she saw. wow, I don’t really feel like visiting Russia never ever in my life,
I don’t feel like acting super macho at the airport just not to get bullied by the policemen

L.P
Guest
L.P

Russia should stfu it’s about time …I like this country but it’s full of ugly people inside(don’t take it wrong).I’m sorry for this guy..

P.S What would happen to Oscar there if Sweden sent him ?

OR
Guest
OR

@Julian
The Israeli Embassy in Russia File a complaint to the Russians authorities, and Israel waiting for their response……. but what they are going to say really? that they are sorry because they are homophobic…. please… there a lot of Jewish Russians in Israel i hope this year they will not vote for Russia because every year Russia gets a lot of points from Israel.

David Who
Guest
David Who

An interview with Dimitry Melnikov, the organiser of the Moscow Eurovision Pre-Party has been posted on YouTube and included in the links above. Here it is: http://youtu.be/cMNsNwQfblE

Julian
Guest
Julian

What was the reaction of the Embassy of Israel and of the Israel Foreign Ministry? The passports of Israeli citizens are their issue. This is a very serious diplomatic incident between Russia and Israel, to treat like this an Israeli citizen.

David Who
Guest
David Who

@oxyk: Indeed, these are very difficult issues, and the Eurovision Song Contest alone is likely not going to solve them all. I’m aware of Nadiya Savchenko’s imprisonment, although i thought she was technically a prisoner of war (since she was a military instructor). I respectfully point out that Eurovision attendees will likely not be instructing the military any time soon. I understand there are other political prisoners, and that there may be a genuine risk to holding the ESC in Russia next year. An official has already told me that this might be “very bad timing,” especially if new laws… Read more »

oxyk
Guest
oxyk

@David Who, if people will go to the streets with rainbow flags they will be arrested for breaking law of not sanctioned gathering. people will be called protesters and some of them will be kidnapped, jailed for fabricated case and then Russia will bully your government to buy captives for something big. Just like they do with our Ukrainian captives. Recently they asked a patch of land of our Ukrainian land to have route to Crimea by land in exchange for one girl they caught on Ukrainian territory and jailed for 23 years for “extremism”. she on the edge of… Read more »

from the Internet:
Guest
from the Internet:

@Natalia Kills: @Anton, you’re basically an homophobe, The problem is he even doesn’t guess that he’s a homophobe. The point is that homophobia is the official politics of the Russian government and that’s why to be a homophobe is very “normal” in Russia. Russians are such “natural homophobes” that they even can’t realise what is homophobia itself. So, for example, when they say about threir anti-gay law something like: “This law is about protection children from showing to them examples of homosexual relationships in mass media, during public speech, etc.” or: “It’s only care about healthy children’s growth, because they… Read more »

El Rosario de Raquel
Guest

Me parece vergonzoso este tipo de discusiones en pleno siglo XXI, sois muy de pueblo y de mente muy estrecha, los artistas estan para hacer arte y no para este patio de vecinas histéricas por el microfono de cristal que se ha convertido ESC.Europa menos drama y mas sexo estarias todos mas relajaditos.Dejad a los artistas expresar sus vivencias, experiencias, por que es ahí donde reside su autenticidad …tambien queries manipular las mentes a todo el que expresa una sensacion singular, esto seria como la “invasion de los ultracuerpos”…invasion una palabra que a nuestra querida Europa le resulta muy pero… Read more »

Shawn
Guest
Shawn

Lots of baseless “NaNa” (blabbering) in here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqTDWv1iR_E

No one is attacking Russia for this, but their authorities. Russia has to leave this “victim label” in Eurovision. They always get fantastic results no matter if they send good or bad songs, no one is boycotting them.

oxyk
Guest
oxyk

oh, I have missed all the fun.
if anyone would want to visit Russia, do it at your own risk and book at your embassy upon arriving. just to make sure someone will look for you (because local police won’t). Russian border control also tore passports of Ukrainians who lives in Crimea and tries to visit Ukraine. Funny thing is that we’re introduced plastic ID cards with chips this year instead of paper passports. Hard time for border control, they will have to chew it 🙂

Lovely
Guest
Lovely

what i didnt like was press conference in moscow.Ivan,Sergey,Lidia,Samra ,Kaliopi they used to speak russian between each other.Minus one boys and Ira doesnt care but look at Hovi and Barei s faces.Its not fair from them to non russian speakers artists

David Who
Guest
David Who

Well if nobody cares then there would be no comments.
If nobody cares, this article wouldn’t exist.
If nobody cares, it’s very possible this website wouldn’t have been created at all, although you’ll have to ask William Lee Adams about that.

I’m with Nicky on this one, enjoy the music and be nice to one another. “Live together, die alone.” 🙂

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

NO ONE CARES!

NO ONE CARES!

EVEN THOUGH IVE SPENT ABOUT A DAY ARGUING ABOUT IT ON THE INTERNET NO ONE CARES!

LMAO. Keep tilting, Anton. You amuse me.

Anton
Guest
Anton

No one cares. You can go or not go to Moscow, it does not change anything at all…

Pollaski
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Pollaski

LMAO. Go to sleep, wake up and see that Anton’s tilted hardcore style.

The evil will always wilt when the goodness of light is shined upon it.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

omg can we please stop arguing with each other and just enjoy eurovision 🙂

Natalia Kills
Guest
Natalia Kills

@Anton, you’re basically an homophobe, so everyone here, stop wasting your precious time with that disgusting human being. Do something better, ignored him. We knew LGBT people are like straight people, like people from different races, religions and more little details that makes us not different, but diverse. The minority concept is old fashioned.

Friendly reminder: if Russia wins, I’m not going there in order to support human rights and I’m straight.

Anton
Guest
Anton

I don’t care.

OR
Guest
OR

@from the Internet
Thanks-You are right, Anton Dont deserve comments/Answers from us….

from the Internet:
Guest
from the Internet:

@OR: this article is a lie I nearly agree with you, just one moment: not the article as it is, but everything what the Russian administrator is saying in it is a big lie. In that my comment, I write that all words he (this Russian administrator) says are manipulations by people’s minds and lots of lies. ps: and you’re not obliged to waste your time for Russian @Anton – it’s no use to discuss what is democracy when a person doesn’t know the basic meaning of it. Definitely, he’s sure that democracy must defend majority from minorities, but not… Read more »

OR
Guest
OR

@Anton YOU ARE THE BORING ONE!! GO BACK TO YOUR PATETIC LIFE IN DARK RUSSIA.. HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anton
Guest
Anton

OR
Blah, blah, blah… Booooooooooring!

OR
Guest
OR

@Ivar My dear Dont listen to @Anton… since Yesterday he write here homophobic comments and try to explain why Russia is good country .. he Probebly a masanger of Putin or something… i feel pity for him that he lives in a dark place like Russia …Russia is a DICTATOR country putin control the media and everything , Pepole are not free there and they afraid to say or do things against the government,…a real democracy is a state with free speech and free to do whatever you want as long as its not crime, real democracy respect the minors… Read more »

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

@Anton: Real democracies protect minorities from being harrassed and bullied. Plain and simple.

Anton
Guest
Anton

I just want to say the the real democracy is the power of majority! Plain and simple!!

Mao
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Mao

@Anto
Yes we are minority, but we are not going to homophobes to walk all over us. We have achieved so much during the last 10_15 years, We have a voice…and you know what…We are unstoppable!!!

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

@Anton: And with this, you are trying to say what?

Anton
Guest
Anton

Gays just can’t accept the one simple thing, that they are THE MINORITY!

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

I am a gay Norwegian who spent six years living with my partner in Moscow. During that time, we made a few observations: 1. Russia is several decades behind Western Europe when it comes to awareness of LGBT rights. 2. It is perfectly possible for straight acting gays to live comfortable lives in Moscow, BUT only as long as you do not go public about your orientation. 3. Things got much worse after the new anti-gay legislation was enacted. Before that, none of our Russian neighbours had reacted to my partner and me living together. After the new laws were… Read more »

OR
Guest
OR

@Nicky91
Thanks for telling us that, Hovi is amazing pursen and he love everybody… and i think All of the singers love him becouse he is very friendly, funny and Otenetic 🙂

Mao
Guest
Mao

I’ve just read all the comments. A lot of things can get lost in translation. But good for Barei for not being a silent witness. We as humans can not just step aside on any human rights matter. Barei has only had good things to say about Amir and she keeps praising him and his talent. It should not be about politics but in this case we should take a stand. I have never liked the Russian song so it won’t make a difference but I will tell about the Hovi insistent to everyone. One last thing…why non of the… Read more »

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

just need to share this with all you guys

Hovi, Gabriela, Sanja and Samra and Ira were having a good time last night with performing their songs of course, but also tasting Maltese food, and Hovi and Ira are already becoming good friends 🙂

OR
Guest
OR

@Anton
You Are Not Very smart, you think we will buy your arguments, you are wrong!!
The reality speeks for her self, the reality is that Russua is homophobic and racist State…the reality is that lesbian/gay Pepole arrested in Russia only becouse they choose to live their life without masks… so stop telling lies and stop offend @Pollask!!i

David Who
Guest
David Who

Let us imagine for a moment that Eurovision will take place in Russia in 2017. If every audience member and employee were to bring with them a rainbow flag, what do you think the Russian authorities would do? Would they arrest everyone? I would like people to come together and find out, rather than hide away from our problems.

Dous21
Guest
Dous21

So now it’s Amir’s turn I guess… you are all so wrong in this.. Barei only said that Amir was a nice strategist (which your really need to be in Eurovision, like for example tweeting other contenders and stuff) because he is a nice and a very smiling guy and everyone loves him (Barei too) Indeed she said a few times that France’s song is her favourite one, the last time that she said that was on that interview that you all talking about of she throwing s***t on Amir (which is a lie). But I guess that a lot… Read more »

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Anton

Yeah, cause Russia’s never come up with BS justification for doing terrible things before…

I don’t care what any European document or International document says. I care about what’s right and what’s wrong, particularily where freedom of speech is concerned.

And you, sir, are indisputably wrong, and if you have to hide behind some crap interpretation of some papers to justify it, you’re just proving how wrong you really are.

Vlada
Guest
Vlada

Aren’t we supposed to be living in the 21st century? It is shocking to hear that things like these are still happening in the world. It makes me very sad….

Anton
Guest
Anton

Pollaski
I don’t care where you are. Russian court refer to the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

@Anton

My… European… Idea…

*glances at clock*

12:02 AM

You wanna tell me where in EUROPE its a couple minutes after midnight right now, boy?

Anton
Guest
Anton

Pollaski

It is YOUR EUROPEAN IDEA! So kiss my ass.

Pollaski
Guest
Pollaski

The mere idea of a government allowing limits to the freedom of expression of ANY ideas is appalling.

So your “reasoned censorship” can kiss my giant lily white freckled ASS, Anton.