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Russia Adds ‘LGBT Movement’ to ‘Terrorists and Extremists’ List

Russian police detain demonstrators during a gay pride event in St Petersburg in 2013. Ruslan Shamukov / TASS

Russia’s state financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring has added the so-called “international LGBT public movement” to its list of terrorists and extremists.

Being added to the registry allows the authorities to freeze designees' bank accounts without a court order.

It was not immediately clear how Rosfinmonitoring planned to enforce its rules against the vaguely defined “LGBT movement,” which does not legally exist, and thus has no registered address or bank account.

The listing comes after Russia’s Supreme Court designated the so-called movement as a banned “extremist” organization in November.

Russia’s Justice Ministry added the “international LGBT movement” to its list of banned organizations on March 1.

This week, a court in the city of Orenburg ordered the arrest of two managers at a gay bar as part of Russia’s first criminal “extremism” case against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of “organizing extremist activities.”

Russia’s civil rights and LGBTQ+ activists have told The Moscow Times the “extremist” designations could allow the authorities to prosecute anyone who has associated with LGBTQ+ lifestyles or symbols in public.

LGBTQ+ rights have gradually eroded in the decade since President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning “LGBT propaganda” toward minors in 2013.

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