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Shuttered Siberian Queer Bar Fined for ‘LGBT Propaganda’

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A queer bar in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk has been fined for “LGBT propaganda,” local police said Thursday, a month after the bar announced its closure over police raids.

Krasnoyarsk’s Sovetsky District Court found the legal entity that owns the bar Elton guilty of the administrative charges and fined it 450,000 rubles ($4,800), according to a statement by the regional Interior Ministry branch.

The administrative case centers around a police raid on the bar that took place in December, the statement added.

In February, Elton’s owner announced the bar’s abrupt closure following another police raid over a “provocative” party, which featured drag show performers in soldier uniforms during a military holiday.

Russia’s Supreme Court designated the non-existent “international LGBT movement” as “extremist” last year, leading to raids on gay nightlife venues and sparking fears that authorities could use the ban to persecute LGBTQ+ people.

Elton’s owner Artyom Demchenko told Russian state media on Wednesday that he plans to rename his other bar in Novosibirsk, which is also called Elton, after police accused it of “extremism.”

Novosibirsk’s Elton bar has since stopped putting on drag shows and rebranded itself as a female-oriented venue, Demchenko told the TASS news agency.

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