Russia: Woman charged under anti-gay law over social network page

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A woman has been charged under Russia’s anti-gay laws for setting up a pro-LGBT page on social networking site Vkontakte.

According to, Lena Klimova set up the page ‘Children-404: We Exist’, which publishes posts by gay teenagers talking about their struggle against homophobia and oppression in the country.

Police claim the group violates the anti-gay law as they “promote unconventional sexual relations among minors, resulting in information aimed at developing juveniles to explore unconventional sexualities”.

Ms Klimova, 25, could face a fine of up to 100,000 roubles (£1,720) under the law, which for her is several months’ salary in the country.

She told “On the one hand, I was surprised. On the other hand, I wasn’t, since people are fined under this law for lesser faults. But this is an extreme level of madness. We publish letters from underage gay men and lesbians and this is considered propaganda among minors.”

An investigation into the group was requested to Vitaly Milonov, an ultraconservative regional lawmaker who spearheaded the anti-gay legislation.

He said: “Without such groups, no kids like that would exist.”

Ms Klimova is the fifth person to be charged under the anti-gay legislation, which President Vladimir Putin signed into law last June.

She said on her personal social network page that her trial is expected to begin within a month.

Earlier this week a newspaper editor was fined 50,000 roubles (£860) for printing an interview with a gay teacher who said “being gay is normal”.

Last week, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said not a single Russian had complained about the law.