LGBT+ bar owner arrested and charged with “extremism”.

The manager and artistic director of the bar involved were arrested on March 20 and targeted on the same charges, which carry a 10-year prison sentence in Russia.

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A rainbow flag, a symbol of support for LGBT+ people, flies over the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, June 25, 2020.  (VALERY SHARIFULIN/TASS/SIPA USA/ / SIPA)

He has been charged “Organizing Extremist Activities”. In a press release issued on Sunday, March 31, a court in the city of Orenburg in the Russian Urals announced that the owner of an LGBT+ bar has been remanded in custody until at least May 18. A step The latter was arrested at the Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport on March 28, local media quoted AFP as saying.

The announcement comes after the bar's manager and artistic director were arrested on March 20 on the same charge, which carries a 10-year prison sentence in Russia, where sexual minorities face increasing repression.

On March 9, the police raided this bar in Orenburg called Bose in the middle of the night. Video from the scene showed people lying face down on the ground with their hands on their heads.

Increasingly repressive legislation

Even before their trial, the two Bose employees were placed on the list of designated persons “Terrorists and Extremists” In Russia, by adding “International LGBT Movement” On March 22, for the list of terrorist and extremist organizations recognized by the country. In early November, the Russian Supreme Court banned it “International LGBT Movement” to “Extremism”, Using vague words that open the door to harsher penalties.

Since 2013, a law has been banned in Russia “propaganda” Aimed at minors “Unconventional Sexual Relations”. The law was significantly expanded at the end of 2022 and now bans any kind of reference to the LGBT+ community in the media, internet, books and movies.

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For example, several Russians have recently been fined for posting photos online featuring rainbow flags or, in the case of two women, for posting a video of their kiss online.

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