In a chilling crackdown on the LGBTQ+ community, Moscow police reportedly conducted raids on several gay clubs late Friday, just a day after Russia’s Supreme Court declared the “LGBT public movement” an extremist organization, banning its activities nationwide.
According to local media, attendees at these clubs were briefly detained, and their passports were photographed during the raids.
The raids were purportedly carried out under the pretext of searching for drugs, as reported by the Telegram channel Ostorozhno Novosti. City officials have not issued any comments on the reported raids thus far.
Eyewitnesses described the abrupt disruption of the club scene, with one attendee recounting how the music was abruptly halted and police officers entered the venues.
According to reports, the raids weren’t confined to Russian nationals, as foreigners were also present at the gathering in central Moscow.
Sota, another Telegram channel, detailed that three clubs in the Russian capital were targeted during the Friday evening raids. Images and videos circulating on social media allegedly depict a police van and officers stationed outside one of the clubs.
The raids follow the Supreme Court’s decision to label the “LGBT public movement” an extremist organization, a move triggered by a motion from the justice ministry. Notably, no legal entity is registered under the designation “LGBT public movement.”
Russia’s constitution was amended in 2020 to explicitly define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, with same-sex unions not recognized in the country.
The LGBTQ+ community in Russia has faced escalating pressure from authorities in recent years. In 2013, a law was enacted prohibiting the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” targeted at minors. This restriction was extended to all age groups in the country last year.
Additionally, references to LGBTQ+ individuals have been systematically removed from various forms of media, including books, films, adverts, and TV shows.
The broader crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia was exemplified earlier this month when a Russian TV channel altered a rainbow in a South Korean pop video to avoid potential violations of the “gay propaganda” law.
As Moscow witnesses these recent events, concerns mount over the intensified targeting of the LGBTQ+ community, marking a severe blow to personal freedoms and human rights in the country.
The reported police actions underscore the challenging and restrictive environment faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in Russia.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members