California’s state pension fund has sold $20 million worth of shares in companies part-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov to protest videos of attacks on gays circulating on a Russian website linked to the tycoon.
The fund, Calpers, unloaded its shares in the Russian Internet company Mail.ru and mobile operator MegaFon due to the videos, which are accessible on Vkontakte, Russia’s largest social networking site, the “Financial Times” reported
on May 16.
Usmanov owns 18 percent of Mail.ru, which owns 52 percent of Vkontakte.
“The Internet is not there to be a platform for persecution,” Anne Simpson, Calpers’ head of corporate governance, told the newspaper.
Many of the videos show right-wing groups carrying out brutal assaults against people they claim are homosexuals.