Russian Censorship of a Gay HIV and Health Website: Part of an “Obvious Trend”

The organisation behind a Russian website that has given LGBT+ people information about HIV and health for the past ten years has hit out at a court order to censor its content, which gives them no time to appeal.

Russia Blocks gay HIV and health website

Russian censors have censored a ten year-old website which gives LGBT+ people information about HIV and sexual health. The website, called Parni PLUS (Guys Plus) reports that authorities have blocked it because its content “violated” Russia’s 2013 ‘gay propaganda’ law.

A court ruling was made on January 26 this year, but the website was only informed of the decision on April 28, leaving it no time to lodge an appeal, reports Gay Star News.

The Russian court ruled Parni PLUS “contains information challenges family values that promote unconventional sexual relations”.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, known as Roskomnadzor,  ordered the website to remove prohibited content or restrict access to it, although the court did not specify which content the order referred to.

In a statement, the organisation behind the website said the court order was part of an “obvious trend”.

“Parni PLUS has hired lawyers to appeal the ruling. Our resource has existed for more than 10 years and consistently informs people about the HIV situation in Russia, gay health issues and other events of the LGBT world,” the website owners said.

In March, Russian authorities also blocked, the country’s longest-running gay website, while last October activist, Evdokia Romanova was charged under the ‘propaganda law’ after she shared LGBT+ news articles to her Facebook. However, Roskomnadzor seems to have overlooked a website that shares personal information about people identified as gay and promotes a ‘game’ to hunt and torture them.

In 2017 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the law, saying it was “discriminatory, reinforced stigma and prejudice and encouraged homophobia”.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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