A 16-year-old Russian teenager was found guilty in the month of August under Russia’s gay propaganda law because he uploaded images of men on his social media, but he has had his conviction overturned.
Maxim Neverov who is only a schoolboy from Biysk filed for an appeal with Artem Lapov who is his lawyer after a demand that he paid for the content posted online was made by the Commission on Minors and the Protection of Minors’ Rights.
Maxim was convicted under the controversial 2013 gay propaganda law of Russia. The bill was designed with the aim to prevent children from being exposed to homosexuality.
After the conviction of the teenager back in August, Artem told Reuters that his client will not pay a dime of the fine, neither will thru accept conviction as they have their mind made up to appeal the decision.
According to the Russian LGBT network, they suspect that the teenager might have been targeted because he took part in the “Gay or Putin” highly public protest which took place in May this year.
The performance was discussed in Duma which is the Russian Federal legislative assembly.
Previously, Maxim had submitted a total of 12 different applications requesting Permission for the performance, but he was never given a permit. The teenage boy also attempted organising a local pride parade.
According to reports by the network, Maxim’s case material contained a document where it was reported that there was an outcry over the planned pride parade.
The boy’s lawyer noted that he was happy Justice had taken its course.
“The court carefully studied the evidence. All related materials were considered in details, and the witnesses were interviewed. The investigators requested data from the social network VKontakte. The court followed the assumption of innocence principle and decided that the offence was not proved.” Adding that “Based on that, our complaints were satisfied and the decision of the Commission on Minors and the Protection of Minors’ Rights was abolished,”
Since the gay propaganda law was passed in 2013, the level of hate crimes against LGBT+ people in Russia has increased dramatically. In August alone, the Russian police detained about 30+ activists in St Petersburg, Russia.
Also, a total of around 60 campaigners gathered together in palace square after local authorities turned down their request for a pride parade.
The incident was a confirmation that member of the Russian LGBT community are living in fear and they weren’t exaggerating when they aired their worries that the respect they got during the just concluded world cup would end as soon as it was over.