THE SITUATION OF LGBT IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION (Last Three Months 2011 – First Half 2012)

Human rights defenders active in the Russian Federation are concerned about the worsening in last six month of the already bad situation with the execution of the right to freedom of expression by members of minority groups and all those advocating the views not shared by governmental officials. Members of the LGBT community became the first victims of a new “witch hunt”. In a number of Russian regions (the Ryazan Region, the Kostroma Region, the Arkhangelsk Region, the Magadan Region, the Novosibirsk Region, the Samara Region, the Krasnodar Territory, and St. Petersburg) legislation introducing administrative punishment for the so-called “promotion of homosexuality among minors” was enacted. A similar bill is currently under consideration at the federal level as well. The recent experience shows that when applied in practice these laws, given the legal vagueness of the concepts contained in them, are used in arbitrary fashion to prevent the expression of opinions and peaceful assembly of citizens in support of equality irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The police detain people for making public calls urging the authorities to investigate crimes on the grounds of homophobia, for carrying rainbow flags in the street or even for making plans to stage a demonstration in support of the LGBT persons’s rights. 

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