Arkhangelsk gay rights group takes case to Strasbourg

Russia is violating the European Human Rights Convention, Rakurs members say.

We have been put on the foreign agent list because of the authorities’s dislike of sexual minorities, the Rakurs LGBT group says.


The group has filed its case to the European Court of Human Rights, the international court in Strasbourg, arguing that Russian Foreign Agents Law is violating the Human Rights Convention, newspaper Vedomosti reports.

The Rakurs members say that they have been labelled ”foreign agents” simply because the authorities dislike sexual minorities. The support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Arkhangelsk was included in the discrediting list in December 2014.

Along with a big number of other Russian NGOs, the Rakurs argues that Russia violates basic human rights such as the freedom of assembly, the freedom of speech, and also that it allows discriminative practices against minorities.

In early 2015, Rakurs was fined 300.000 rubles (€4.180) after refusing to accept the foreign agent label. 

“The foreign agent label itself discredits any work for LGBT community, “implies” that LGBT rights defense is harmful for the society and that our organization itself is dangerous,” Tatiana Vinnichenko, head of Rakurs Arkhangelsk and chairperson of the Russian LGBT Network, says to BarentsObserver.

As previously reported, Arkhangelsk was the first region in Russia to ratify the law banning all activities aimed at promoting homosexuality in public areas. The regional law later served as a basis for the federal law enacted by the State Duma and signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013. Since then the stigma and prejudice of homosexuality in Russia has gained nationwide support.