Russian police continue to raid LGBTIQA+ venues

Russian police have continued to raid LGBTIQA+ venues with people in attendance being held temporarily and asked to present their identity documents.

A popular venue in the city of Yekaterinburg, which is around 2,000km east of Moscow, is the location of the latest raid. Radio Free Europe has reported that employees of the local department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and riot police raided the club Fame – on the night of 10th December.

Police say they carried out their action after local people complained that the venue may have been selling unmarked alcohol and tobacco products, saying nine litres of potentially illegal alcohol had been taken for analysis.

Local community member have shared on social media that around 100 people were detained during the raid and asked to present their identity documents. All were released after the police search was concluded.

The raid in Yekaterinburg follows several LGBTIQA+ spaces in Moscow being targeted a week ago. The police action began after the country’s Supreme Court declared that the “International LGBT public movement” was an extremist organisation and banned its activities across the country.

The move was promoted by a petition from the justice ministry, even though there is no actual organisation known to operate under that name. The ruling has been explained as encapsulating all LGBTIQA+ rights advocacy.

The categorisation means the symbols of an organisation are banned and using them can lead to fines and imprisonment. Human rights activists have noted that what the recent decision means in unclear, but it could lead to an increasing level of antagonism towards the LGBTIQA+ people and venues.

OIP Staff

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