Russia's crackdown on queer folk continues

Russia's Supreme Court has ruled that LGBTIQ+ activists should be designated as "extremists". The courts have convicted individuals for displaying LGBTIQ material in public, including pride flags on social media and wearing rainbow earrings in public.
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Russia and Pride Flag

Russia's severe crackdown on their LGBTIQ+ community ramps up on as first convictions are issued for minor infractions. Russia is witnessing its first convictions related to the suppression on any symbols associated with the "international LGBTIQ+ social movement," designated as extremist by the Russian government.

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In Volgograd, a man named Artyom P was found guilty of "displaying the symbols of an extremist organization" for posting a photo of an LGBT flag online. He was fined 1,000 roubles (£8.69) and admitted guilt, citing posting the image "out of stupidity."

Meanwhile, in Nizhny Novgorod, a woman received a five-day administrative detention for wearing frog-shaped earrings featuring a rainbow image. This incident occurred after a video surfaced online showing a man demanding she remove the earrings in a cafe.

The crackdown also extends to social media, as evidenced by an ongoing trial in Saratov involving a photographer who posted rainbow flag images on Instagram. The rainbow flag, symbolizing the LGBTQ+ community, falls under Russia's prohibition of displaying symbols of extremist organizations.

Russia's Supreme Court's ban on the "LGBTIQ+ movement" further escalates the country's restrictions on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This ban adds to existing laws, such as prohibiting legal or medical gender changes for transgender individuals and the long-standing law banning the promotion of "non-traditional" sexual relations.

The convictions signal a deepening repression of LGBTQ+ rights in Russia, raising concerns about freedom of expression and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. As the crackdown continues, activists and human rights organizations advocate for international attention and pressure to uphold fundamental rights and freedoms for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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