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University Student Sentenced to 15 Days for Promoting LGBT Rights

LGBT Rights (Credits: UN News - the United Nations)

A Russian university student, Danila Morozov, 22, has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined 50,000 rubles (€500) for “displaying LGBT symbols” and “discrediting the Russian army”.

The Moscow court press service reported the verdict on Friday. Morozov, a student at the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Youth Parliament, an advisory body to the Russian State Duma, was found guilty of posting content on his Telegram channel that violated the country’s laws. His channel has since been deleted.

Danila Morozov (Credits:

The ruling comes after the Russian Supreme Court deemed the “international LGBT movement” an “extremist organisation” in November.

This decision has led to a crackdown on queer activism in Russia, with the use of queer-related symbols, such as pride flags, being considered “displaying extremist symbols”.

This is not the first case of its kind, as a man was arrested and charged with using “extremist symbols” in March for allegedly sending a rainbow flag emoji in a private chat.

LGBTQ Movement (Credits: International Service for Human Rights)

The new ruling has effectively outlawed queer activism in Russia, leading to raids on gay venues and fines for individuals displaying queer flags or even wearing rainbow-coloured earrings.

The sentence handed down to Morozov is a stark reminder of the increasingly hostile environment for the LGBTQ+ community in Russia. The use of symbols and imagery that were once used to express pride and solidarity are now being criminalized, further marginalizing an already vulnerable group.

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