St Petersburg: First hearings for men arrested under anti-gay law postponed
The trial of two men who are the first to be prosecuted under St Petersburg’s new law banning the promotion of homosexuality among minors has reportedly been adjourned due to missing documents.
Sergey Kondrashov, an attorney from the city, and Igor Kochetkov, chairman of the Russian LGBT Network appeared before a judge today after their arrest ten days ago and face fines for holding pro-gay placards in the city.
AllOut.org, which has organised petitions against the law and one to recently re-elected President Vladimir Putin condemning the law which has amassed 60,000 signatures, said today the trial had been suspended due to missing documents.
The charge of promoting homosexuality was coupled with charges of disobeying a police officer, neither of which could go ahead due to the missing documentation.
The men were arrested at a ‘Day of Silence’ street protest against the law.
Placards they had held read: ‘No to silencing hate crimes against gays and lesbians’ and ‘A friend of our family is lesbian. My wife and I love and respect her; her way of life is as normal as ours, and her family is as socially valuable as ours.’
The judge ordered the hearing to recommence next Monday.
AllOut.org has recorded a message from Mr Kondrashov below: