TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — There have been the first publicly known cases of Russian authorities punishing people under a court ruling that outlawed LGBTQ+ activism as extremism. Russian Media and rights groups have reported that at least three people who displayed the rainbow-colored items faced prison terms or fines.

In a Supreme Court ruling in November, the government banned the LGBTQ+ “movement” active in Russian, labeling it an extremist organization. The order was part of a crackdown on LGBTQ+ people in the increasingly conservative country where “traditional family values” have become a cornerstone of President Vladimir Putin’s 24-year rule.

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Russian Laws prohibit the public display of symbols of extremist organizations, and LGBTQ+ rights advocates have warned that those displaying rainbow flags or other items could be targeted by authorities.

On Monday, a court in the city of Saratov, 730 kilometers (453 miles) southeast of Moscow, fined artist and photographer Anna Musina 1,500 rubles (about $16) for several Instagram posts depicting rainbow flags. , reported Russia’s independent news site MediaZona. . The case contained the full text of the Supreme Court’s ruling, which named the rainbow flag an “international” symbol of the LGBTQ+ “movement.”


Russian courts are convicting individuals for crimes related to alleged LGBT propaganda.

According to reports, Musina and his defense team maintained their innocence. Musina said the posts were published before the verdict, at a time when rainbow flags were not considered extremist by authorities, and her lawyer argued that a police report about her alleged wrongdoing was warranted. was registered before the coming into force of The court nevertheless ordered to pay the fine.

Last week, a court in Nizhny Novgorod, about 400 kilometers (248 miles) east MoscowAnastasia Yershova has been ordered to serve five days in jail on the same charge of wearing rainbow-colored earrings in public, MediaZona reported. In Volgograd, 900 kilometers (559 miles) south of Moscow, a court fined a man 1,000 rubles (about $11) for allegedly posting a rainbow flag on social media, local court officials said. reported Thursday, identifying the man only as Artyom P.

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

In 2013, the Kremlin adopted the first legislation restricting LGBTQ+ rights, known as the “gay propaganda” law, which banned any public endorsement of “unconventional sex” between minors. Banned. In 2020, constitutional reforms by Putin to extend his power to another two terms included a provision outlawing same-sex marriage.

After sending troops into Ukraine in 2022, the Kremlin stepped up a campaign against the West’s “shameful” influence, in what rights advocates saw as an attempt to legitimize the war. That year, authorities adopted a law banning the propaganda of “non-traditional sex” among adults, effectively outlawing public endorsement of LGBTQ+ people.

Another law passed in 2023 banned gender reassignment procedures and gender confirmation care for transgender people. The legislation prohibited “medical interventions intended to change a person’s sex,” as well as changing a person’s gender in official documents and public records. It also amended Russia’s Family Code to list gender reassignment as a reason for annulling a marriage and to list those “who have changed gender” as foster or Adoptive parents cannot.

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