Two Russian courts have convicted someone for the first time on the basis of stricter anti-LGBT legislation at the end of last year.
Two Russian courts have applied for the first time the recently tightened anti-LGBT laws aimed at targeting so-called “gay propaganda”.
A court in the southern Volgograd region on Thursday found a man guilty of “displaying symbols of an extremist organization” after he posted a photo of an LGBT flag online, the court’s press service said.
Artyom P., who was sentenced to pay a fine of 1,000 rubles, admitted his guilt and showed remorse. He said he posted the image “out of stupidity,” the court heard.
On Monday, a court in Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow, sentenced a woman to five days of administrative detention. She was in a cafe when a man approached her and demanded she remove her frog-shaped earrings with a picture of a rainbow, according to Aegis, an LGBT rights group. The woman was called to the police station after the man, who had filmed the encounter, posted it online.
A trial will resume next week in Saratov in southwestern Russia against a photographer who posted photos of rainbow flags on Instagram, the independent Russian news agency Mediazona reports.
Two to six years in prison
The rainbow flag represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Russian law prohibits anyone in the country from displaying the “symbols” of organizations listed as “extremist.”
The Russian Supreme Court banned the “international LGBT movement” as an “extremist organization” in November last year. Anyone who is a member of the movement risks two to six years in prison. Activists immediately indicated that this opened the door wide to arbitrary convictions of LGBT people. The characterization of the LGBT community as “extremist” fits into a pattern of increasing restrictions on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity.
A law passed last July bans legal or medical accommodations for trans people. A law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relationships has been in place for more than a decade.