The founder of a Russian lgbti youth group has been fined under the nation’s ‘gay propaganda’ law for creating a support website. Lena Klimova Lena Klimova created online forum Children-404 for Russian-speaking LGBT teens to write openly and anonymously about their daily lives and hardships. She is facing a fine of 50,000 rubles, or just over NZ$1,000. The group Human Rights First says she was convicted despite being prevented access to legal counsel, due to her being ill on the day of the court's decision Human Rights First’s Shawn Gaylord says it is an important reminder that Russia’s propaganda law will continue to have a harsh impact on the rights of lgbt people. “It’s been nearly a year since the Sochi Olympics brought international attention to the situation for Russia’s LGBT community,” Gaylord says. “While much is happening in the world, it is crucial that we not move on to the next issue and ignore what is happening in Russia, particularly when neighbouring countries such as Kyrgyzstan appear to be following suit. “Russian activists who are standing up for justice and human rights for all still face persecution and we must continue to support their efforts.” Last year, Klimova was acquitted by the same court for her work with Children-404. That case had been brought at the request of Petersburg Legislative Assemblyman Vitaly Milonov, who believes gay people are "perverts" and "sickos", and vowed to appeal. Human Rights First says aince the passage of the 2013 discriminatory propaganda law, lgbt Russians have faced harassment from government officials, threats of violence, and imprisonment for peaceful public demonstrations.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff
First published: Monday, 26th January 2015 - 9:51am
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