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Russia's 'anti-gay propaganda' laws have targeted the community for years

16-year-old is first minor prosecuted by Russian 'anti-gay propaganda' laws

The first minor targeted for spreading 'propaganda' to minors

The first minor has been found guilty of Russia’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws.

Maxim Neverov was found guilty of ‘propaganda of homosexuality among minors’ despite being only 16-years-old himself. The teenager from Biysk was fined 50,000 rubles on 7 August for publishing photos on social network site Vkontakte.

Advocacy site Russian LGBT Network reports that administrative offence report – filed on 24 July – says Neverov published ‘some pictures (photos) of young men whose appearance (partly nude body parts) had the characteristics of propaganda of homosexual relations according to this expert opinion’.

They also claim that while the police filed the report, the teenager was not allowed to consult a lawyer. This led him to refuse to testify.

The so-called ‘anti-gay propaganda’ laws

The Commission on Minors and Protection of Minors’ Rights considered the case. The Russian LGBT Network provided a lawyer for Maxim Neverov.

Maxim Neverov was recently involved in the production ‘Gays or Putin’. He submitted 12 applications to the city administration to get the performance to take place. These were rejected, and the case was later discussed by the local Duma.

The Network also stated that the case materials referred to a document ‘to take action’ concerning public outcry in Biysk caused by Maxim Neverov’s attempts to organise a parade to support the LGBTI community.

Constant persecution

So-called ‘gay propaganda’ has been banned in Russia since 2013 and has affected the LGBTI community since.

In June, police officers detained LGBTI activist Peter Tatchell after he protested LGBTI rights near the Kremlin.

Whereas earlier this month, an LGBT Pride event in St Petersburg was shut down by authorities.

Activists arrived at Palace Square to find that it was closed off and surrounded by police officers. 30 people were arrested.

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