Most of us share reports about lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality on our social channels without giving it a second thought.
When Russian LGBT activist Evdokia Romanova did the same she was charged under Russia’s notorious “gay propaganda law”, and now faces a fine of around £1,300 (100,000 roubles), if found guilty.
The posts Evdokia shared included articles from The Guardian and Buzzfeed.
When questioned by the police, Evdokia was denied legal representation and later denied access to her casefile for nearly six weeks. She is now due in court on Monday.
Evdokia works for the LGBT rights organization Samara Regional Public LGBT Movement (Avers) and is an active member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
The “gay propaganda law” was signed into law by President Putin in 2013.
We ask everyone to show solidarity with the Russian LGBT community and to support Evdokia!
The Russian government claims the law is to protect children from being exposed to “harmful” material, but earlier this year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the law violates human rights.
Svetlana Zakharova of the Russian LGBT Network told Stonewall:
“For a long time, the Russian authorities have claimed that the so-called "propaganda law" was adopted in order to 'protect' children.
But this case clearly shows that it has nothing to do with children – instead it is widely used against activists, against people who refuse to be silenced.
We ask everyone to show solidarity with the Russian LGBT community and to support Evdokia!”
The Russian authorities must drop the charges against Evdokia and abolish its homophobic “propaganda law”.
Update: On 18 October Evdokia was found guilty of the administrative offence of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships among minors using the internet” and fined 50,000 roubles (approx. £630). Evdokia is appealing the fine.
Color photo (2017) © Georg List
Black and White (2012) © Olga Usoltseva.