The "Propaganda" Law in Action: Is a Quotation from Roskomnadzor’s Report Propaganda?

Murmansk Police Office №2 has charged the former director of the "Maksimum" LGBT organization with “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships among minors”. The charges were based on an expert report claiming that almost literal quotation from the Roskomnadzor report should be considered propaganda.

The plaintiffs in the case against Sergei Alekseenko were the parents of minors, which allegedly visited the Maximum’s page on the social network VKontakte, marked "18+". A post on the wall of the community served as a pretext for filing the protocol on administrative offence. The post states, "Being gay means being brave and confident person, with dignity and self-esteem". The expert report prepared by the forensic laboratory of the Ministry of Justice judged this sentence to be propaganda.

It is interesting to note that this sentence is an almost verbatim quotation from Roskomnadzor’s report on Elena Klimova's case. Describing the contents of the online community "Children-404", experts from Roskomnadzor pointed out that the materials of the group "may lead children to believe that being gay means being brave, strong, confident, determined, having self esteem and self worth..."

According to Sergei Alekseenko, "the investigation was carried out with multiple violations. First, the protocol that was filed on December 12 concerned specifically the director of the interregional non-governmental organization "Maksimum". But this organization had been dissolved on October 10. Neither the parents nor the adolescents themselves had been questioned. Moreover, the investigation lasted almost a year, while the case had been initiated in January 2015; consequently, the statute of limitations has already expired."  

Sergei Alekseenko intends to prove the unlawfulness of charging him with “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”.    

The hearing date of Sergei Alekseenko's case has not been set up yet.