By Aaron Day
2 September 2013, 1:42pm
Dmitry Isakov held a sign which read: ‘Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays and killing gays is a crime!’
24-year-old Dmitry Isakov may become the first gay rights activist to be convicted under Russia’s controversial “gay propanda” laws, after he was attacked and arrested by his own parents at a solo campaign in July.
On July 30, Mr Isakov staged a one-man protest in the centre of the town of Kazan, Russia, holding up a sign which read: “Being gay and loving gays is normal. Beating gays and killing gays is a crime!”
According to Gay Russia, his mother and father helped authorities escort their son to the car where he was taken to a police station.
His father assisted police by bringing him to the ground as his mother stole the poster from his hands.
After his initial arrest, Mr Isakov was set free, although he was suffering from a number of injuries inflicted by police officers.
Nikolai Alekseyev, one of Russia’s most prominent gay rights activists, said he had come to Mr Isakov’s aid. He said: “I am providing him full legal support like with the case appealing the bans of his public events in Kazan.
“This case is now at the Supreme Court of Tatarstan. This is real activism, not stupid bumpings of Russian vodka or boycotting Olympics.”
The news came yesterday however that a Russian teen has since filed charges against Mr Isakov after dicovering a picture of the activist’s campaign online.
The teen, Erik Fedoseyev, said he had been forced to file the complaint by his father, who reportedly hates gay people because his ex-wife left him for a woman.
While several others have also been charged and convicted across Russia, Mr Isakov’s legal team said he could be the first to be convicted and would face an enormous fine under the federal law.
President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.
A week before Mr Isakov’s initial arrest, four Dutch tourists were the first foreigners to be charged under the “gay propaganda” law.
Last month, police in Moscow reportedly raided the home of Nikolai Alekseyev.
On his Facebook page, Mr Alekseyev declared that the officers had been in his home for three hours and in the process “destroyed everything”.
He became the first man to be convicted under St Petersburg’s local homophobic censorship legislation in May 2012.
Mr Alekseyev has been a leading opponent in Russia of laws governing gay “propaganda” – and also recently criticised those in the West for appearing to jump on a boycott bandwagon of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
On 17 August he tweeted: “Western media has no respect for Russia and its people and LGBT population included. What they report about Sochi and gay propaganda is sham.”
“All Western media want to hear from me that Russia is shit and I don’t want to take part in this hypocrisy. So all interviews are over!”
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