Russian Police Raid LGBTI Center and Detain Everyone Inside
Police raided a LGBTI center in Arkhangelsk, Russia today (28 March).
Officers arrived at the community center, Rakurs (meaning Angle), after an alleged ‘complaint’.
A Rakurs spokesperson told Gay Star News the incident is still ongoing at the time of publishing.
Officers arrived to the center, which provides advice to the LGBTI community, and demanded to inspect the office.
Volunteers, lawyers, and five visitors were also all prevented from leaving.
Officers are inspecting and withdrawing materials from the center.
Ivan Rasputin, the head of the Information Relations department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Arkhangelsk region, declined to comment.
Authorities have seven days to respond to comment.
Gay propaganda in Russia
Sources suggest Russia’s government may wish to fine or ban the organization for conflating rules on ‘gay propaganda’.
In 2013 Russian president, Vladimir Putin, passed the ‘gay propaganda law’ which banned ‘information promoting the denial of traditional family values’ and ‘propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations’.
Activists have also argued the law censored the LGBTI community.
Its introduction has also led to a vast increase of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attacks.
Support groups for LGBTI minors have been shut down, gay festivals have been raided and attack groups torturing and murdering LGBTI people have surfaced.
The group works to protect the rights of LGBTI people in the northern region.
In December 2014, the court recognized the organization as a foreign agent.
Earlier this month, police interrogated an organizer of a youth festival.
Yulia Tsvetkova was receiving death threats for her part in organizing the Color of Saffron festival in the far eastern town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
Due to run this weekend, local authorities canceled the event over concerns one of the plays in the festival promoted a ‘LGBTI agenda’.
The play called Blue and Pink featured teenage actors and discussed gender. The colors blue and pink are often represent the gay and lesbian community in Russia.
Authorities told festival organisers it would not be going ahead. They also accused Tsvetkova of importing ‘corruption and persecution’ from Europe.