Police Raid LGBTQ+ Clubs In Moscow

An unnamed gay sauna was also raided.

Police have raided at least four LGBTQ establishments in Moscow, following the Russian Supreme Court declaration that the “international LGBT social movement” is “extremist.”

Club Secret, Mono Bar, and Hunters Party were bars subjected to police raids according to local group SOTA’s Telegram channel. An unnamed gay sauna was also raided.

The venues reportedly received notice that the raids were to take place, and luckily, were able to warn customers in advance, according to the local group Caution’s Telegram channel. At the bars, police told customers that they were searching for illegal drugs. Police made patrons lie face down on the floor at the sauna during the raid, and photographed their IDs before letting them leave.

No arrests were made during the raids, and reporters are unsure of what the police will do with the personal information obtained from the patrons. There is, of course, the fear that the authorities will use this information to target the patrons and further crack down on the LGBTQ+ community, especially in regards to their participation in “extremist” groups.

Under Russian law, it is illegal to participate in what is considered to be an extremist organization, punishable up to 12 years in prison. This is where particular danger lies in the Supreme Court’s recent decision to label the LGBT social movement as such.

“This shameful and absurd decision represents a new front in the Russian authorities’ campaign against the LGBTI community,” Marie Struthers, director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, said in a statement, referencing the Supreme Court’s decision to label the LGBT social movement as extremist. “The ruling risks resulting in a blanket ban on LGBTI organizations with far-reaching violations of the rights to freedom of association, expression, and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to be free from discrimination. It will affect countless people, and its repercussions are poised to be nothing short of catastrophic.”

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