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Kidnapping, Interrogation Exposes Brutal Intent

The Russian LGBT Network has reported that in May 2021, Chechen-speaking men abducted Ibragim Selimkhanov in Moscow and forcibly returned him to Chechnya’s capital Grozny, where authorities interrogated him about gay people in the region. This is the…
Campaigners protest for LGBT rights in Chechnya outside the Russian embassy in London, Britain on June 2, 2017.
News

VkusVill Pulls Ad Featuring Lesbian Customers

Last week, VkusVill, a prominent Russian food market chain, ran an online advertisement entitled “Family Happiness Recipe” that featured, among others, a family that included several lesbian women. In Russia, where discrimination against lesbian, gay…
A VkusVill’s market in central Moscow, Russia on July 7th, 2021.
News

Discrimination Harms Parents and Children

In a victory for a transgender parent’s right to maintain contact with her children, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on July 6 that Russia’s denial of her visitation violated her rights to family life and freedom from discrimination. The…
Activists participate in the St Petersburg LGBT Pride march on August 12, 2017.
News

Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
News

Critic’s Punishment and Disappearance is Met with Moscow’s Silence

A video circulating on Russian social media shows a young man apparently being forced to penetrate himself with a glass bottle: a forced punishment for allegedly helping to “spread lies” about Chechen authorities. It once again highlights the Chechen…
Graphic circulating on Russian social media in support of  the Telegram channel "1ADAT". 
News

Proposed Health Code Would Improve Protection for Women, Girls, LGBTI People

Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a new health code that would help all in Ecuador enjoy better access to health care. The bill, nearly 8 years in the making, was approved on August 25 by a vote of 79 to 58, and now requires the signature of…
The flag of Ecuador. 
News

Authorities Should End Violations of Freedom of Expression and Assembly

Police in Moscow detained 40 people last weekend for holding peaceful protests in solidarity with a young woman who is facing up to six years in prison for running a feminist blog. On June 9, authorities in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia’s far east…
Yulia Tsvetkova
News

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

Fully Repeal Professions Ban on Women

A transgender woman in St. Petersburg, Russia has won a final court battle with a former employer who fired her in 2017 after she changed her legal gender. The woman, known as “Anna,” had worked for a decade as a quality control checker at a…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News

LGBT People Lack Equal Protection Under the Law

Last week, the vice-speaker of Russia’s lower chamber of the parliament, Piotr Tolstoi demanded that the country’s constitution explicitly state marriage is a “union between a man and a woman.” “This will create a barrier to…
 Edalov (lower) and his partner Evgeny Efimov at a picnic in June 2019, days before he was killed.
News

Authorities Should Drop Charges, Release Activist, Repeal Propaganda Law

Russian feminist and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activist Yulia Tsvetkova, already under house arrest for two months on bogus charges of pornography distribution, faces new charges of allegedly violating Russia’s “gay…
Illustration reading, "Family is where love is. Support LGBT+ families.”
News

Government Engages in Lawfare against Civic Activism

A Russian feminist and LGBT activist is under house arrest for allegedly distributing pornography. It’s yet another example of Russia using unfounded accusations and vague laws to intimidate certain activists. Yulia Tsvetkova…
Yulia Tsvetkova, talking about her youth theater project “Pink and Blue”.
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

Authorities Equate Speaking to Children about Sexual Orientation with Sexual Assault

This week, investigative authorities in Moscow opened a criminal investigation into alleged sexual assault of children in connection with a video in which Russian kids ask a gay man questions about his life. The video series…
Maksim Pankratov, 21 y/o, interviewed by children on “Real Talk” © personal archive / Maksim Pankratov
News

Court Warps Child Rights Arguments to Defend ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

A Saint Petersburg court ruled last week that two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social media groups violated Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law and ordered the sites shuttered. The groups – “Russian LGBT…
LGBT rights activists carry the rainbow flag during a May Day rally in St. Petersburg, Russia.
News

Authorities View Gay Parents as Unfit by Definition

А same-sex Russian couple with two kids, aged 12 and 14, fled the country this summer after being targeted by authorities citing Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda” law. Their story is a particularly disturbing example of the state…
A same-sex couple holds hands
News

European Court Finds Russian Authorities Discriminated Against LGBT Groups

The European Court of Human Rights ruled this week that the Russian government must pay 42,500 euros in damages to three lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights groups for having refused their registration in recent years. …
Russian blogger, Zhenya Svetski, stands with a sign reading “I am not ‘gay propaganda’” in Moscow, December 2018.
News

Film Cuts Made to Comply with So-Called ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

  Rocketman – the Elton John biopic – opened this weekend to generally great reviews, but cinema-goers in Russia were only getting to see part of the story. According to the film’s Russian distributor, cuts…
Musician Elton John and producer David Furnish, right, arrive for the UK Film Premiere of Rocketman at the Odeon Luxe in London, Monday, May 20, 2019.
News

“Surprise” Victory for LGBT Rights

A court in Russia has dismissed a case brought against a 16-year-old boy alleging he had broken the country’s absurd and noxious “gay propaganda” law. The 2013 law effectively prohibits any positive information about “non-traditional…
Interior Ministry officers guard the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community rally "VIII St.Petersburg Pride" in St. Petersburg, Russia August 12, 2017.