Russia is continuing its attempts to silence LGBTQ+ organisations by proposing to introduce an ‘extremist’ label to be placed on LGBT, feminist and child-free movements.
The ‘extremist’ label would see a ban imposed upon the publishing of online content by LGBTQ+ and other liberal groups.
In what is perceived as a means of addressing Russia’s population decline and the preservation of traditional values, the proposed designation is a further move by Vladimir Putin’s conservative government to silence LGBTQ+ and liberal groups.
According to The Moscow Times, Andrei Tsyganov, Chairman of the commission for the protection of children at Russia’s State media communications regulator has stated that “LGBT ideology, radical feminism and child-free movements should be recognized as extremism — an extremist ideology.”
The ‘extremist’ label has previously been used to outlaw Jehovah’s Witnesses, to protect against religious autonomy from the State.
Tsyganov’s call came on the same day as the Ivanovo Centre for Gender Studies, a leading centre for research and education, was labelled as a ‘foreign agent’. This law imposed by the Justice Ministry places restrictions on not-for-profit organisations that receive funding from overseas sources. It is seen as a way to restrict international involvement in Russian affairs.
A number of organisations that support victims of domestic violence have also been imposed with the ‘foreign agent’ label. The law is reminiscent of those imposed during the Cold War.
In March, the ruling United Russia party also proposed to ban Trans, Bisexual, abortion and polyamory propaganda. A move that would tighten the already existing 2013 ban on LGBTQ+ propaganda. The 2013 law bans “the promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”, and refers to information provided by newspapers, television, radio and the internet.
The law violates the rights to freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination that is guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
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