A court hearing has been scheduled to appeal the Russian Ministry of Justice’s decision to include the Russian LGBT Network to the list of ‘unregistered public associations performing the functions of a foreign agent’. The meeting will be held on March 10 in the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow.
On November 8, 2021, the Russian LGBT network was added to the list of ‘foreign agents’ following the decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice. The Russian LGBT Network hence became the third organization added to the list of organizations without legal entity recognized as foreign agents. As of today, the aforementioned list consists of seven different organizations, five of which are those that help LGBT+ people.
In February of 2022, a court claim was filed with a request to declare the recognition of the Russian LGBT Network as a ‘foreign agent’ unlawful,as well as to oblige the Russian Ministry of Justice to exclude the information about the organization from the ‘foreign agent’ register altogether. This case is being handled by lawyers working with the Russian LGBT Network, Anna Plyusnina and Max Olenichev.
The Russian Ministry of Justice responded to the lawsuit with objections, sharing its reasons for recognizing the Russian LGBT network as a ‘foreign agent’. Among those reasons are, firstly, the reception of funds from Charitable Foundation Sphere by the Movement - Sphere was recognized as a ‘foreign agent’ back in 2016; secondly, it is the carrying out of political activity, which is allegedly expressed in the publication of various materials, "including opinions on decisions made by state bodies and on their policies, ... public appeals to government bodies, their officials".
Anna Plyusnina, the lawyer who is working on this case, comments on the latter in the following words: "The Russian LGBT Network does not agree with the position of the Ministry of Justice because the organization does not engage in political activities and does not form social or political views that contradict the state policy of Russia, and the Russian LGBT Network also does not have any bank accounts, and therefore could not physically receive any funds."
On the evening of March 10, the results of the court session will be announced - stay tuned for the news!
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