MOSCOW, September 15 (GayRussia
wire) – Details of the criminal case against Russian gay activist
Maxim Lazarev are emerging from the Komi Republic, some 1,500 kilometres
north east of Moscow.
A criminal file was opened
September 2 on the basis of article 242 of the Criminal Code of Russia.
In the official charge it is said
that “in the period between
1 June 2004 and 25 August 2005 Maxim Lazarev
intentionally located at the unique address on the Internet
advertisement modules – banners, advertising visions which are admitted as
pornographic. Access to the Internet recourses is open for unlimited circle
of people, is being done without special authorization and identification.
Thus, Maxim Lazarev in breach of paragraph 4 Article 1 of the International
convention concerning the circulation of pornographic materials and their
sales from 12 September 1923 illegally advertised visual materials which are
pornographic, thus he committed a crime covered by article 242 of the
Criminal Code of Russia”.
[Note that the date in 1923 refers to they year the Article was effective]
Maxim Lazarev, head of the project
“Another Life” actively supported LGBT rights in Russia. He publicly
announced his intention to organize a gay parade in his city of Syktyvkar,
the capital of Komi – and he fully supported the planned Pride in Moscow
He worked to diversify life in his
region by organizing regular parties for gays and lesbians in the city where
there are no openly gay venues and active gay life, published a newspaper
for gays and lesbians and maintained the website site of his project
“Another Life” which is in the centre of prosecution accusations.
Yesterday (September 14), Maxim was
interrogated for the second time. All the charges against him were
They are based on the printed
materials from the site
This site had a system of frames. In other words, when you click on an
article or advert banner the target is displayed within a frame, and not in
a new window.
None of the materials which the
prosecutors considered pornographic had been located on the server of
The next interrogation is scheduled
early next week. It is expected that this case will raised during a press
conference in Moscow on Monday (September 20) for Moscow Pride.
“Maxim’s computer has been
confiscated and is still being inspected by the prosecution,” said Nikolai
Alexeyev who heads Project GayRussia. “He is not allowed to leave the city
while the case is being investigated.
“Maxim has seen all the campaign
abroad in his support and thanks everyone for the publicity on his case in
different languages and countries.”
Project GayRussia.Ru, as member of
International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), decided to nominate Maxim
Lazarev to the Executive Board of ILGA-Europe, regional organization of ILGA.
The last day for nominations was
September 14 and all the relevant documents concerning his candidature have
been sent to ILGA-Europe headquarters in Brussels.
He is expected to be the only
nominee from Russia. “We think that being the biggest country in Europe,
Russia has to be represented in the Board of the most influential LGBT
organization in Europe,” said Alexeyev. “There is no better candidate than
an activist from the region who has stayed out of gay politics and gay
scandals in Russia.”
Alexeyev confirmed that project GayRussia.ru will fight for the full
acquittal of Maxim Lazarev and for his appointment in the board of ILGA-Europe
organization. The decision will be taken during ILGA conference in Paris at
the end of October. “We appeal to all organizations and members of ILGA to
support the candidature of Maxim Lazarev and to help fight for his full
acquittal,” he said.
Gay Russian Activist On
Website Porn Charges. A gay activist from the Komi Republic in the Russian Federation
has been charged with pornography on his non-pornographic website. And
other gay activists in Russia are fearing the start of a wide-ranging
clampdown on gay websites and publications. (September 12)