GENEVA, today – The official delegation of Russia announced their willingness to take all required measures to prevent homophobic hate crimes and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at the 24th UN Human Rights Council. However, they dismissed the recommendations to abolish the so called ‘propaganda of homosexualism’ laws. All such obligations will be fulfilled by Russian authorities during the next four years.


In the afternoon September 6, the US President Barack Obama met with Russian human rights defenders in St. Petersburg. This meeting was held as part of the US President’s visit to Russia for G20 summit. Mr Igor Kochetkov, Chair of the Russian LGBT Network, participated in this meeting with the US head.


In light of the recently enacted Russian law on ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors’ that renders illegal statements and actions that acknowledge LGBT equality and in response to the growing violence against LGBT people and allies in Russia, the upcoming Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi have already become a subject of an international debate both over the impact of this context on the athletes, spectators, staff, and volunteers of the Games and over compliance of the Sochi Games with the Olympic values of diversity and non-discrimination.


On Monday the 22th, four Dutch activists – a filming crew led by Kris van den Veen from the Dutch organization “LGBT Groningen” – were supposed to face the Lenin regional court in Murmansk, Russia. They had been in Russia for about a week to film for a documentary on LGBT rights. In Murmansk, they were participating in the forum “Youth for Human Rights Camp” that took place on the 20th and 21st of July. The forum was disrupted by the police and representatives of the Russian Federal Migration Service, who raided the place to question the Dutch activists. The filming crew was detained, and police records were written against them for violating visa regulations and for “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors”.


Six LGBT activists have been detained at the State Children's Library in Moscow. The detention took place after the activist Aleksey Davidov stood in front of the library building with a banner where there was written that "Being Gay is Normal". The manifestation was dedicated to the Russian law banning propaganda of "non-traditional sexual relationships" among the under-aged. The law came into force on the 29th of June this year.


Yesterday, on the 10th of July, the judges of the Dzerzhinsk regional court studied the recent case of the arrested at Gay Pride in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. There are still about 20 cases that are to be studied by other courts.


Today, a list of problems and questions was published that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child aims to discuss with the representatives of Russia, related to the next review of the report on how Russia fulfils the Convention of the Rights of the Child.


On June 29, 2013, participants in a peaceful demonstration in support of human rights and equality for people of different sexual orientations and gender identities (the St. Petersburg LGBT Pride Parade) found themselves the subjects of abuse and physical assault at the hands of nationalists. Having started their attack with vulgar verbal abuse, followers of various nationalist groups soon switched to beating the demonstrators and pelting them with stones and smoke bombs. Police officers at the site failed to act adequately in order to prevent the violence, leaving the demonstration’s participants in the position of having to defend themselves. The demonstrators displayed true courage and strength of spirit in the face of attacks that left many of them with minor or significant injuries. At least seven people were later hospitalized by ambulance.


The Pre-session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child was held on the 20th of June in Geneva with participation of Russian non-governmental organizations. The problems related to the observance of children's rights in respect to LGBT youth and in the context of the law banning propaganda of "non-traditional sexual relations" recently adopted by the State Duma were identified in the joint statement by the Russian LGBT Network and the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center (ADC Memorial).


The State Duma passed in the third reading the federal act banning “non-traditional sexual relations”. This law makes amendments to the Administrative Code and in the federal law on “protecting children from information that can bring harm to their health and wellbeing”. 436 voted in favor no one against and 1 abstained.