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30 Mar, 2024 16:42

Russian gay club managers added to list of ‘terrorists’

The two staff members from Orenburg were recently arrested on charges of promoting LGBT
Russian gay club managers added to list of ‘terrorists’

Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service has added two managers from an LGBT nightclub in the central part of the country to its register of persons deemed to be involved in extremist activities or terrorism, according to the agency’s website.

The individuals, the club’s art director Alexander Klimov and business executive Diana Kamilyanova, were arrested earlier this month.

The Orenburg ‘Pose’ club came to the attention of the authorities earlier in March after visitors complained to the local police that the club was promoting the LGBT movement. When the premises were searched, law enforcement found evidence pointing to such a connection. The venue was shut down and its management detained, while the local Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the club’s activities.

On March 20, the Central District Court of Orenburg placed both Klimov and Kamilyanova in custody on charges of violating the ban on LGBT propaganda.

According to the Investigative Committee, Klimov, whose job it was to select artists for travesty shows, “promoted non-traditional sexual relationships among visitors both in the club and via its Telegram account.” Kamilyanova, who was involved in personnel selection, was also in charge of providing photo and video recordings of performances, which also promoted LGBT.

The two managers will be kept in custody until May 18. The investigation into the activities of the club and their participation in them is ongoing.

Russia’s Supreme Court recognized the activities of the “international LGBT social movement” as extremist and banned it in November 2023, while LGBT propaganda was outlawed in the country in 2022. Earlier this month, the LGBT movement and “its structural units” were also added to the list of extremist and terrorist groups.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has previously spoken out against the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations,” said last month that the legislation targeting the LGBT movement should not affect the personal lives of members of the community as long as they “don’t flaunt it” in public and do not involve children.

The ‘Pose’ club case is the first criminal case in Russia associated with the Supreme Court’s LGBT ruling.