The Supreme Court of Russia, Thursday, November 30, banned for extremism the “international LGBT movement” as well as all its ” subsidiaries ” in Russia, in the midst of an ultraconversative shift in the country. According to Agence France-Presse journalists on site, the judge read his verdict to the press after a closed-door hearing, indicating that the decision was coming into force. ” immediately “.
The hearing took place without a defender, as no organization bearing the name “international LGBT movement” exists in Russia, but the decision of the highest Russian court could result in the banning of any group defending LGBT+ causes.
In mid-November, the Russian Ministry of Justice asked to qualify “extremist organization” and to prohibit “the international LGBT movement”, without clearly saying which organization he was targeting. Any public activity associated with what Russia considers “non-traditional” sexual preferences could now be punished for extremism, a crime punishable by heavy prison sentences.
“A new peak of madness”
Until now, LGBT+ people already risked heavy fines if they “propaganda”, but no imprisonment. The last decade has seen their rights drastically limited under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, who, with the Orthodox Church, claims to want to eliminate from the public sphere behavior deemed deviant and imported from the West.
Ian Dvorkine, founder in Russia of the NGO Center T, which helps transgender people, fled the country for fear of being accused of extremism and being thrown in prison for having created this association. “Working in Russia is becoming very uncertain (…) It looks like [les militants LGBT+] who survive will live entirely hidden”he told Agence France-Presse.
For him, this trial aimed at ” movement “ not officially existing in Russia is “a new peak of madness”. “Everyone could fall under [cette accusation] of extremism »he is indignant, specifying that ” more and more people “ are asking for help to leave the country.
Since 2013, a law prohibits “propaganda” of “non-traditional sexual relations” aimed at minors, a text denounced by NGOs as an instrument of homophobic repression. This law was considerably expanded at the end of 2022. It now bans “propaganda” LGBT+ to all audiences, in the media, on the Internet, in books and films.
In July, Russian MPs also passed a law targeting transgender people, banning them from transitions, including surgeries and hormonal therapies.