Russian Anti-War Journalist Fined Under ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law

12/07/2022

Russian journalist Yury Dud was fined 120,000 rubles ($2,024) by a Moscow court Tuesday under a law that bans “propaganda” in support of gay relationships.

Lefortovo district court said the 35-year-old was fined for disseminating “propaganda for non-traditional sexual relationships among minors.”

Former sports reporter Dud is one of Russia’s top media stars, having risen to prominence via acerbic, politically tinged interviews and documentaries uploaded to YouTube, where he has more than 10 million subscribers.

In October last year, Dud was fined 100,000 rubles ($1,689) on charges of “drugs propaganda,” after a pro-Kremlin lobby group asked Russia’s internal affairs ministry to investigate him.

On April 15, Dud was designated a foreign agent by Russia’s justice ministry after publicly opposing Russia’s war in Ukraine, which he dubbed an “imperial frenzy.”

Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said the case against Dud was based on a 2021 YouTube interview he conducted with a gay performance artist, although Chikov said the interview was not about homosexuality.

Russia has since 2013 criminalized “propagandizing” non-traditional sexual orientations to children, as part of the Kremlin’s wider conservative agenda. Last week, parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin called for a complete ban on promoting “non-traditional values” in Russia.

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