Teenager becomes first minor prosecuted under Russia's anti-gay 'propaganda' laws
A schoolboy has become the first minor to be prosecuted under Russiaâs strict âgay propagandaâ laws.
Maxim Neverov, a 16-year-old from the city of Biysk, was reportedly fined Â£50,000 rubles (Â£580) by a court, according to campaign group the Russian LGBT Network.
The organisation said a police report filed in July claimed the teenager had posted several images of âpartly nudeâ men on the so cial network VKontakte.
It added the images had been determined to have âthe characteristics of propaganda of homosexual relationsâ, according to an âexpert opinionâ.
The Russian LGBT Network, which also provided a lawyer to represent Maxim, said authorities may have pursued charges following the teenagerâs involvement in an event called âGays or Putinâ.
He and other organisers reportedly submitted 12 applications to hold events around Biysk, all of which were rejected by the city.
âMaxim Neverov points to the absurdity of the fact that the proceedings for propaganda among minors were initiated against a minor, but he expected such a decision,â the network said in a statement.
âMaxim Neverov is 16 years old; he is a schoolchild.â
The teenagerâs lawyer, Artem Lapov, said the decision by the court violated his clientâs right to freedom of expression.
He said he intended to appeal the decision, claiming Maximâs friends and supporters were barred from attending the hearing, while the recording of proceedings were also forbidden.
Russiaâs so-ca lled âgay propagandaâ rules were agreed by the State Duma in 2013 and later signed into law by president Vladimir Putin.