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  • Human Rights Research Center

Alarming First Convictions Under Russian LGBT 'Extremist' Ruling Raise International Concerns

February 21, 2024


On Nov. 30, 2023, Judge Oleg Nefedov of Russia's Supreme Court ruled on a Ministry of Justice request to label the "international LGBT movement" extremist and ban its activities in Moscow. [Image Credit: 2023 Natalia Kolesnikova | AFP via Getty Images]

Cited article from Human Rights Watch


HRRC condemns the recent developments in Russia regarding the criminalization and prosecution of individuals associated with the LGBTQ+ movement. These prosecutions highlight the alarming suppression of freedom of expression and the targeting of individuals based on their affiliation with the LGBTQ+ community.


News Brief


Despite widespread condemnation, Russian authorities continue to enforce the ruling, signaling a concerning crackdown on LGBTQ+ activism and expression in the country. In a series of recent prosecutions in Russia, individuals have faced legal consequences for their association with symbols of the LGBT movement. Artyom Pogrebnyak was fined for posting the rainbow flag on social media, deemed by the court as displaying extremist symbols. Similarly, Anastasia Ershova was sentenced to five days in detention for wearing rainbow-colored earrings, despite being a victim of assault and homophobic slurs. In another case, photographer Inna Mosina was fined for posting a rainbow flag on Instagram, illustrating a broader crackdown on expressions of support for LGBTQ+ rights in Russia.


Russian courts have begun issuing extremism convictions following a Supreme Court ruling in 2023 that designated the "international LGBT movement" as extremist. This ruling made public in January 2024, led to the criminalization of displaying the rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBT movement, resulting in penalties such as detention and fines.

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