Russia: Social network page accused of breaking anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws acquitted of charges

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A woman accused of breaking Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws for setting up a pro-LGBT support page has now been acquitted of charges.

Last month, Lena Klimova, founder of the LGBT support group ‘Children-404: We Exist,’ was charged for promoting “unconventional sexual relations among minors, resulting in information aimed at developing juveniles to explore unconventional sexualities”.

However, Ms Klimova has now been acquitted of all charges following a court session in Nizhni Tagil.

In the Dzherskinskii district court, the Russian LGBT Network lawyer Maria Kozlovskaya proved Ms Klimova had not in fact registered the LGBT support group, but was just administrating it.

She said: “We looked for such a decision and believe that it proves the incapacity and groundlessness of the so-called law about ‘propaganda of homosexuality.’

“This law contradicts to some Russia’s international obligations and, as it was proved by the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee, consolidates discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and violates the freedom of speech.”

The judge had ruled that the materials published on Children 404 had nothing to do with homosexual “propaganda,” and said: “This group is of great help for minors facing problems because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

City councillor Vitaly Milonov, who originally requested an investigation into the group, is appealing against the decision.

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

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