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Russia officially adds LGBT movement to extremist and terrorist organisations list



Russia has added the LGBT movement to a list of extremist and terrorist organisations. According to Reuters, this was contained in a statement issued on Friday, March 22, 2024.

The move was in line with a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court last November that LGBT activists should be designated as extremists, a move that representatives of gay and transgender people said they feared would lead to arrests and prosecutions.

The list is maintained by an agency called Rosfinmonitoring that has powers to freeze the bank accounts of the more than 14,000 people and entities designated as extremists and terrorists. They range from Al Qaeda to U.S. tech giant Meta and associates of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The new listing refers to the “international LGBT social movement and its structural units”.

Russia banned what it calls “gay propaganda” among adults in 2022, extending an earlier law that forbade it among minors. That effectively outlawed any representation of “non-traditional sexual relations” in public and in the media.

A Russian court on Wednesday ordered two employees of a gay bar to be held in pre-trial detention, accusing them of organising an “extremist organisation”, the first such case after the Supreme Court decision.

They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of “organizing extremist activities.”

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As part of a shift under President Vladimir Putin towards what he portrays as family values that contrast with decadent Western attitudes, Russia has tightened restrictions over the past decade on expressions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Among other steps, it has passed laws outlawing the promotion of “non-traditional” sexual relations and banned legal or medical changes of gender.

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