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The Homophobic Law in Action

HRO.org (info), 27/03/12 


Yury Gavrikov, head of the LGBT organisation "Equality" and the chair of the St. Petersburg gay parade organising committee, has been called in for questioning by the Criminal Investigation Department. At the end of last week he was called in by investigators at the Gatchina Police Department to answer questions regarding a complaint made by Anatoly Artyukha who heads the St. Petersburg section of the People's Assembly, a nationalist organisation.  

According to a report by Rosbalt News Agency, citing Equality's press office, Artyukha accused Gavrikov of several actions, including "sins", which needed to be investigated by the police. One of the charges was an accusation of "threatening national security" in connection with the activities of the LGBT organisation Equality and of Yury Gavrikov personally. Others were "activities aimed at overthrowing the current state authorities".  The activist was also charged with "organising and holding pickets next to children's organisations since 15 March for the purpose of corrupting minors".  
Yury Gavrikov told the investigators: "The public work of the LGBT organisation Equality is only carried out within the framework of the law and directed at standing up for the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals as a social group, including through the courts. All the pickets and other public actions are carried out within the framework of the Federal Law "On assembly, meetings, marches, demonstrations and pickets" and take place by the consent of the St. Petersburg city government. In his statement to the Gatchina police investigators the activist also mentioned that "the activities of Equality does not aim to ‘disrupt national security’, ‘overthrow the existing state authorities’ or corrupt or take other actions against the sexual inviolability of minors.” 

A spokesperson for Equality noted that this is not the first such application made by the Russian orthodox "patriot" from the People's Assembly, who has previously repeatedly asked the police to investigate the activities of Yury Gavrikov and the LGBT organisation Equality for elements of "fascism and extremism" and a whole range of other unfounded accusations. 
"We shall fight against the law on propaganda that seeks to equate in the public mind sexual orientation and gender identity with paedophilia and sexual crimes, which leads to the fomenting of social hatred and the rise in crimes against LGBT people. Our activists are ready to hold pickets next to children's and young people's organisations in Petersburg in order to spread information about the normality of homosexuality and to call for tolerance towards their gay, lesbian and transsexual peers," Yury Gavrikov said. 

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Rights in Russia,
2 Apr 2012, 12:08
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