On August 4, 30 participants of an LGBT Pride in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg were detained. All of the detainees are receiving their court decisions this week. (This article has a copyright disclaimer, see bellow)
From the 30 detainees already 13 received fines. The fine is in most cases 5000 rubles (63 euro).
6 of the participants were under the age 18, so their cases were sent to the Russian Commission for the Affair of Minors. They will be registered, but no administrative procedure will be started.
2 cases were sent back to the police and 1 participant was released. 8 other participants are still waiting for their verdict, but “it is very likely they will also receive a fine of 5000 rubles” Aleksei Nazarov (organiser St. Petersburg Pride) told Rémy Bonny (political scientist specialised in LGBT-issues in post-communist countries).
“I feel depressed after every ruling, but it also makes me even more combative. We wil appeal all the rulings at the Court of Second Instance”, according to Nazarov.
“If the Court of Second Instance does not agree with us, we will bring it to the European Court of Human Rights in Strassbourg.”
Therefore the St. Petersburg Pride organisation will work together with “Exit”, an LGBT-organisation working with specialised lawyers.
Homophobia is institutionalised in Russia, according to post-communist LGBT-rights expert Rémy Bonny. “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian society experienced an identity crisis. Before, their internal enemy was religion. Now, it is non-traditionalism. LGBT-people are seen as the internal enemy of the Russian Federation. An internal enemy that is being promoted by their external enemy, the West.”, according to Bonny.
In 2013 the Russian Parliament adopted an anti-propaganda law for LGBT-issues. This law prohibits to promote LGBT-issues to minors. “This basically killed all LGBT activism in Russia. Gay teenagers get attacked by neo-nazi groups and the government does not react on that. In Chechnya (a member state of the Russian Federation), local authorities even tortured and murdered hundreds of gay men. LGBT people are outlawed in Russia.”