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1st Russians are fined or jailed over rainbow-colored items after LGBTQ+ ‘movement’ is outlawed

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) – The first publicly known case of Russian authorities punishing people under a court ruling outlawing LGBTQ+ activities as extremism has emerged, Russian media and rights groups say. reported that at least three people who displayed rainbow-colored items received them. imprisonment or fine.

A Supreme Court ruling in November banned what the government called an LGBTQ+ “movement” operating in Russia and labeled it an extremist organization. The ruling was part of a crackdown on LGBTQ+ people in the increasingly conservative country, where “traditional family values” have been the cornerstone of President Vladimir Putin’s 24-year rule.

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Russian law prohibits displaying symbols of extremist organizations in public, and LGBTQ+ rights advocates say those displaying rainbow flags or other items are targeted by authorities. It warns that this is a possibility.

On Monday, a court in Saratov, a city 730 kilometers (453 miles) southeast of Moscow, fined artist and photographer Inna Mosina 1,500 rubles (about $16) over multiple Instagram posts depicting rainbow flags. ), Russian independent news site Mediazona reported. . The lawsuit included the full text of the Supreme Court’s decision that established the rainbow flag as an “international” symbol of the LGBTQ+ “movement.”

Russian courts have convicted individuals for crimes related to alleged LGBT-related propaganda.

According to reports, Mosina and his defense team have maintained his innocence. Mosina said the post was published before the ruling was handed down and was made at a time when authorities did not consider rainbow flags to be extremist, and Mosina’s lawyer said the post was published before the ruling took effect. A police report regarding the alleged misconduct has been filed. However, the court ordered her to pay a fine.

Last week, a court in Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 kilometers (248 miles) east of Moscow, sentenced Anastasia Yershova to five days in jail on similar charges for wearing rainbow earrings in public. Mediazona reported. A court in Volgograd, 900 kilometers (559 miles) south of Moscow, has fined a man 1,000 rubles (about $11) for allegedly posting a rainbow flag on social media, district court officials said on Thursday. The man was identified only as Artyom P. Kennedy.

The Putin regime’s crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia has continued for more than a decade.

In 2013, the Kremlin adopted the first law restricting LGBTQ+ rights, known as the “gay propaganda” law, banning public support for “non-traditional sexual relations” between minors. Ta. In 2020, a constitutional amendment pushed through by President Putin to extend his government for two more terms included a provision outlawing same-sex marriage.

After sending troops to Ukraine in 2022, the Kremlin stepped up its campaign against “degrading” Western influence, which rights advocates saw as an attempt to justify the war. During the year, authorities passed a law banning the promotion of “nontraditional sexual relationships” between adults, effectively making public support for LGBTQ+ people illegal.

Another law passed in 2023 banned gender transition procedures and gender-affirming care for transgender people. The law prohibited “medical interventions aimed at changing a person’s gender,” as well as changing gender in public documents and records. It also amended Russia’s family law, citing a change in gender as a reason for invalidating a marriage, and adding “people who have changed their gender” to the list of people who cannot become foster parents or adoptive parents.

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In September 2022, President Putin said, “Do we really want to have “parents number 1, 2, and 3” instead of “mom” and “dad” here in our country and in Russia?” Told. Do we really want perversions that lead to degradation and extinction to be imposed in schools from elementary school onwards? ”

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