The Russian LGBT Network (RLGBTN) have announced that three Dutch tourist have been arrested and detained by police.
Writing on their Facebook wall, the RLGBTN stated that three Dutch nationals had been detained by police under charges of gay propaganda.
In a statement the network said:
“At the moment they were released from the police station. Police compiled reports on the violation of rules of stay in the territory of Russia and the violation of the law of the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors.”
Court hearing will be at 9 a.m. (Moscow time) 22 July 2013.
The Russian LGBT Network provides legal assistance.”
The official and legal definition of ‘homosexual propaganda’ is currently unclear, however reports are emerging of arrests for kissing, holding hands, wearing or using rainbows.
The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has also updated its advice for gay people travelling to Russia. On their website the DoFA states,
“Homosexuality was illegal in the USSR up until 1993 when it was decriminalised. However, a federal law has recently been approved that prohibits the promotion of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism in the Russian Federation. Fines can now be imposed on those who provide information about the homosexual, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities to minors. According to the legislation, public displays of affection or activities regarded as counter to the law may also lead to fines, arrests and deportations.”