Russia: 4 Dutch citizens quizzed by police over ‘gay propaganda’

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Four Dutch nationals have been questioned by police in Russia for allegedly coming into conflict with the country’s newly-established “gay propaganda” laws.

The group were making a film about LGBT rights in Murmansk, northern Russia, and were detained by police on Sunday and questioned for several hours.

Their footage was confiscated by officers.

In June, Russia passed a federal law imposing heavy fines for anyone providing LGBT information to those below the age of 18.

Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer from a St Petersburg-based LGBT network, said the Dutch four were fined 3,000 roubles each (£61; $93) for violating visa rules

One of them, Kris van der Veen, a left-wing councillor from Groningen, the Netherlands, said they were not facing a court case.

He tweeted to say “after weird day, riding in car away from court. I believe indeed that there won’t be a case.”

“Instead of sitting on the plane, we’re still in Murmansk,” Mr Van der Veen wrote on Facebook on Monday afternoon. “It’s about the documentary, homosexual propaganda. It’s going alright, but it’s not clear what to do next. There has been lots of support and help from activists and the consulate.”

Speaking to last week Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Russia to protect the rights of LGBT people amid concerns about LGBT athletes and spectators attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.

He said: “It is just totally out of order it is unacceptable in this day and age for any athlete to feel in any way intimidated or certainly to be discriminated against because of their sexuality.”

Shortly after the interview was published Ireland’s government updated its advice for LGBT Irish citizens travelling to Russia.