Russia finds gay activist guilty after he was attacked, arrested by his own parents

Court has convicted a young LGBT advocate of gay propaganda, the third time this has happened in the federal law's history

Russia finds gay activist guilty after he was attacked, arrested by his own parents
19 December 2013

A Russian court has found a gay rights activist guilty of gay propaganda, the third time this has happened in the law’s history.

While numerous others have been charged, very few have been convicted in Russia for violating the gay propaganda ban.

Dmitry Isakov, a 24-year-old bank clerk and student, was fined 4,000 rubles ($121, €89) – the minimum for an individual violation.

Back in June he was arrested twice after he tried to get permission from authorities to hold a gay pride march in the Russian city of Kazan.

He decided to go on his own and held a placard in protest against the decision.

It read: "To be gay and to love gays is normal. To beat gays and kill gays is criminal.’

On the same weekend, the Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the ‘non-traditional relationships’ propaganda bill into law.

But it was his parents that helped to arrest Isakov on the Sunday (30 June).

His father helped police to bring him to the ground as his mother snatched the poster from his hands.

The mother and father helped the authorities escort their son to the car where he was taken to the police station.

He was badly beaten during the attack.

But Isakov said his parents were not at fault, claiming they were under severe pressure from police and society to help in the arrest.

The young activist has also said he will appeal against the court’s decision, following the footsteps of other Russian LGBT activists Nikolai Alekseev and Jaroslav Yevtushenko who were also found guilty under gay propaganda laws.

On Gay Russia, Alekseev said: ‘Today’s decision by the Kazan court proves the authorities are going to start actively using the discriminatory law.

‘But we are determined to appeal against all sentences in all instances, including at the [European Court of Human Rights].’

Kazan will be hosting the international soccer tournament, the FIFA World Cup, in 2018.



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