Russia’s highest court has approved the Ministry of Justice's request to ban and label the “International LGBT Movement” as an “extremist organization,” potentially allowing the government to confiscate donations dedicated to the representatives of the community and make its members arrests.
The closed-door meeting on Thursday, Nov. 30, only permitted representatives from the Ministry of Justice to be present in the courtroom. Journalists were solely invited to hear the decision announcement, as reported by Mediazona's correspondent.
The lawsuit, submitted on Nov. 2, claimed the “International LGBT Movement” exhibits “various signs and manifestations of extremist orientation,” with specific accusations of “incitement of social and religious discord.”
Now, since the claim was accepted, it could have significant consequences for a substantial portion of Russian society, affecting the rights of LGBT individuals.
Clear identification as a member of the movement could be documented in a classified file, potentially subjecting any LGBT person to involvement in an “extremist” case.
This broad categorization might give law enforcement the authority to make arrests based on symbols like rainbow flags, which currently result in fines under the “LGBT propaganda” law.
Activists linked to LGBT movements might face charges related to participation in an extremist group, and donations to these organizations could be treated as extremist activities.
Essentially, the state might impose restrictions preventing Russians from openly discussing their association with the LGBT community in any way.
The Ministry of Justice’s lawsuit follows the previous adoption of two repressive laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community.
Initially, the “LGBT propaganda” law, previously applicable only to children, was expanded to include adults.
Subsequently, transgender transition was banned in Russia – both the change of the gender marker in the documents and medical interventions related to the transition.
This move echoes a similar decision made by the Supreme Court in 2020 concerning the “AUE movement.”
Despite not being officially registered as a movement and existing as a subculture rooted in prison concepts, the ban on AUE propaganda led to numerous criminal cases against individuals with “thug” tattoos and those adopting the “convict way.”
Even ordinary citizens faced fines for sharing screenshots from games and films depicting prison life.
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