Russian court drops charges against founder of teen LGBT charity Children 404

Russian court drops charges against founder of teen LGBT charity Children 404

25 March 2015
Text Nadia Beard

Leading LGBT activist Elena Klimova has been acquitted of charges brought against her for breaking the “gay propaganda” law. Today, a court in Nizhny Tagil, Sverdlovsk, upheld an appeal against the court’s decision to fine Klimova, the founder of Children 404, a charity that offers LGBT teenagers in Russia information, advice and a closed forum to share their experiences.

On her Facebook page, Klimova wrote: “We (my lawyer Dmitry Bartenev and I) believe that the ruling was lifted due to illegality and invalidity, because 1) There is absence of a crime, and 2) Numerous violations of standard trial procedure specified by the Russian Federation’s code of administrative offences.” According to Klimova, an expert approved by media watchdog Roskomnadzor reviewed the case and “found no evidence of [propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations] in my actions”.

Klimova was charged with breaking the law last November, after media watchdog Roskomnadzor reported that the information disseminated on Children 404’s VK page “contains evidence of an offence under Part 2, Article 6.20 [promotion of non-traditional sexual relations among minors]”. Klimova was ordered to pay a fine of 50,000 roubles ($870).