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Russian charged with 'extremism' for rainbow Instagram post

By AFP

January 30, 2024 06:21 PM


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Russia has brought extremism charges against a 33-year-old woman under new laws criminalising support for the LGBTQ community, a rights group said on Tuesday.

The supreme court banned the "international LGBT movement" in November, saying its activists should be deemed extremists, cementing Moscow's crackdown on minority groups.

"The 33-year-old local woman is accused of 'displaying a symbol of an extremist organisation'," the Perviy Otdel rights group said.

Court documents named the woman as Inna Mosina, a resident of the southwestern city of Saratov.

Perviy Otdel said she faces up to 15 days in prison or a fine of up to 2,000 rubles ($22).

It said the criminal case was opened against her after a policeman found an image of a rainbow on her Instagram page.

Mosina says the case is unfounded and the image was posted before the supreme court's decree came into force, the rights group said.

Mediazona, a website that covers court cases in Russia, reported that the judge had asked Mosina: "Where do you get this artistic inspiration from?"

"From my head," she replied.

Perviy Otdel argued the case against Mosina violates Russia's constitution, which guarantees freedom of opinion.

It said the next hearing would take place on February 5.

Russia has become an increasingly hostile environment for minority groups, with President Vladimir Putin championing what Moscow loosely defines as "traditional family values."

Moscow's large-scale military intervention in Ukraine offensive is often portrayed in Russia as a fight against Western liberal values.


AFP


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