Front Line Defenders reports:
Russian Federation – Case against human rights defender Ms Lena Klimova closed
On 21 February 2014, Nizhny Tagil Court ruled that the administrative case against human rights defender Ms Lena Klimova under the so-called “propaganda law” should be closed due to the lack of an offence.
Lena Klimova is a journalist based in Nizhny Tagil, and is the author of a series of articles on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) teenagers. In 2013, she set up an online community named Children-404 on the social networking sites Facebook and Vkontakte. The community provides a space for teenagers to discuss LGBTI issues and support each other, as well as organising online discussions with leaders of the LGBTI movement.
On 31 January 2014, the Nizhny Tagil department of the Ministry of the Interior launched an administrative case against Ms Lena Klimova for ‘propaganda of non traditional sexual relations among minors’ under Article 6.21 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. The case related to the Children-404 page.
Mr Vitaly Milonov, a member of St. Petersburg City Parliament, who sponsored the adoption of the ‘propaganda law’ at the municipal level in 2012 and lodged the complaint against Lena Klimova, has announced that he intends to appeal the court’s decision to close the case.
Front Line Defenders welcomes the court decision to close the case against Lena Klimova, but remains deeply concerned at the chilling effect the case may have on LGBTI rights defenders, as well as the LGBTI community in general, in the Russian Federation. More detailed information on Lena Klimova’s case can be found here.