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Electoral Commission finds no violations in homophobic campaign video by United Russia deputies

4 September 2014

Source: (info)
The Murmansk Electoral Commission has found no violations of electoral legislation in a homophobic video by Murmansk City Council deputies Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeev. This was stated in a letter sent to the initiator of an investigation, LGBT activist Violetta Grudina, reports citing

In particular, the letters stresses that "Paragraph 1 of Article 56 of the Federal Law states that electoral campaigning that invokes social, racial, nationalistic or religious hatred, insults national dignity, or promotes the exclusivity, superiority or inferiority of citizens on the basis of their religious beliefs, or social, national, religious or linguistic identity, is prohibited."

In response, the Murmansk Territorial Electoral Commission concluded that "the video in question is not subject to these restrictions and there is therefore no basis for the electoral commission to take steps with regard to your complaint within the framework of the electoral law."

Nevertheless, the electoral commission sent the LGBT activist's complaint to the law enforcement agencies "with the idea of carrying out an investigation into whether the video, containing signs of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, was posted by O.N. Guz and A. R. Gismeev."

At the same time, the Senior Assistant Public Prosecutor of Murmansk Region asked the head of the Murmansk Regional Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs to look into Violetta Grudina's complaint, "forwarded by the Murmansk Territorial Electoral Commission, in which she outlines the presence in an electoral campaign video posted online of materials aimed at inciting enmity or hatred."

Local LGBT activists say that despite the outrageous video by the United Russia deputies being taken down from the Murmansk group of VKontakte, where it was originally posted, it is currently being played on local television and radio stations.

In their 6-second election campaign video the City Council deputies shake hands while a voiceover says "Against windbags and gays, Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeev."

Translated by Natascha Kearsey