Six LGBT activists charged in Moscow under law banning 'gay propaganda'

posted 28 Jul 2013, 23:52 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 29 Jul 2013, 00:09 ]
25 July 2013 


Source: HRO.org (info)
According to GayRussia.ru, all the LGBT activists detained on Wednesday, 24 July, at the entrance to the Russian State Children's Library in Moscow have been officially charged with promoting non-traditional sexual relationships among adolescents.

One of the six activists detained, Aleksei Davydov, reported from the Yakimanka district police department that the detainees had been charged by the police under the provisions of Article 6.21 (Propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations) of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. 

Apart from promulgating gay propaganda, the activists have been charged with infringements of the laws regulating the organisation and conduct of public events under Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code.

The cases of the detainees will be referred to Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky district court.

Aleksei Davydov was the only person on Wednesday who displayed a placard outside the main children's library of the country. On the placard were the words "Being gay is OK." The others were detained for being present at the event.

The detained activists might become the first to be found guilty of an offence on the basis of the recently adopted Federal law prohibiting gay propaganda. This came into force on 30th June, having been signed by the president, Vladimir Putin.

On 16th July Moscow city hall denied permission for Nikolai Alekseev, the founder of the Moscow gay pride movement, to hold a rally at the entrance to the Russian State Children's Library on 24th July, from 12 noon until 2:0 pm. The organisers and participants planned to distribute objective information about the nature of homosexuality on the basis of current international scientific research to young people and draw the attention of the public and the authorities to homophobia and discrimination against minors who are gay and lesbian.

The justification for the ban on the rally was cited as the federal law prohibiting propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships among adolescents.

On Wednesday Nikolai Alekseev said that "If the Court finds that the detained activists are guilty of gay propaganda, we will appeal against the Federal law passed in the country before the Constitutional Court and before the European Court of Human Rights".

In addition, the gay activist again warned that "the ban on the rally itself will also be challenged in the courts." 

Previously in Russia only regional laws had been invoked to prosecute cases regarding the promulgation of gay propaganda. Thus in 2009, the Moscow Gay Pride activists, Irina Fedotova (Fet) and Nikolai Baev, were convicted of disseminating gay propaganda in Ryazan. In January 2012 the law was applied to the individual pickets Nikolai Alekseev, Kirill Nepomniashchy and Aleksei Kiselev, in Arkhangelsk. In May 2012 Nikolai Alekseev was convicted of disseminating gay propaganda at a one-person picket in front of the Smolny city government building in St. Petersburg. 

In the autumn of 2012, in the case of Irina Fedotova v. Russia, the UN Human Rights Committee found the Ryazan law banning the promotion of homosexuality among minors to be contrary to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The laws of Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and St. Petersburg have also also been challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.
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