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Russian LGBTQ+ 'Conversion Therapy' Isolates Patients for Months – Report

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At least a dozen clinics in Russia “secretly” conduct so-called conversion therapy, an abusive practice used to forcibly “cure” LGBTQ+ people, the U.S.-funded broadcaster Current Time reported on Monday.

According to Current Time journalists, “patients” are often sent to these conversion therapy clinics against their will. Their treatment involves being isolated from the outside world for several months, during which they are sometimes forced to take psychotropic drugs, pray and undergo hypnosis. 

The clinics, which operate in Moscow as well as the Moscow and Rostov regions and parts of Russia's North Caucasus, charge up to 130,000 rubles ($1,420) for “treatment” services, Current Time said, adding that “services are often provided secretly.”

Among the clinics is a Moscow region Russian Orthodox rehabilitation center that reportedly isolates LGBTQ+ people for at least six months as they “meet with therapists and pray.”

Another conversation therapy center, based in Moscow, told Current Time journalists that it can provide “a hypnosis session via Skype” to cure “the gay condition.”

Late last year, The Washington Post reported that families in Russia were paying private clinics to abduct their queer children and force them to undergo conversion therapy.

According to a 2022 report by the LGBTQ+ support group Vykhod, one in three queer people in Russia has faced violence or discrimination because of their sexual identity.

In November 2023, Russia’s Supreme Court banned the so-called “international LGBT movement,” a group that does not formally exist.

The move sparked fears that authorities could use the vaguely worded designation to carry out sweeping persecutions of LGBTQ+ people.

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