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Biysk Teenager First Minor Arrested Under Russia’s Anti-Gay ‘Propaganda’ Laws

A teenager has become the first minor to be prosecuted under Russia’s strict “gay propaganda” laws which were mandated by Vladimir Putin.

Maxim Neverov, a 16-year-old from the city of Biysk, was reportedly fined £50,000 rubles (£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 “partly nude” men on the social network VKontakte.

“Maxim 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,” the network said in a statement.

“Maxim Neverov is 16 years old; he is a schoolchild.”

The teenager’s lawyer, Artem Lapov, said the decision by the court violated his client’s right to freedom of expression.

The Russian LGBT Network, who provided Maxim’s lawyer, said authorities may have pursued charges following the teenager’s involvement in an event called “Gays or Putin”.

He and other organizers reportedly submitted 12 applications to hold events around Biysk, all of which were rejected by the city.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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