Russia: Socialite called for questioning in case surrounding insults to anti-gay lawmakers
A Russian socialite-turned-political activist said on Monday that she had been called in by investigators in the case of online insults to lawmakers legislating against gay people.
Ksenia Sobchak said on Monday that investigators had called her in for questioning regarding the case about online insults posted against two lawmakers who supported anti-gay bills.
Last week, two deputies in the Russian State Duma requested that prosecutors file criminal charges of defamation against gay rights activists, because they say they insulted public officials on Twitter.
The two deputies, Yelena Mizulina, the head of the Committee on Women, Children and Families, and one of the leading sponsors of Russia’s recently introduced law banning homosexual “propaganda”, and Olga Batalina, are both from the ruling United Russia party.
“Called by the Investigative Committee and summoned for questioning over the Mizulina insult case,” Sobchak tweeted on Monday. “What will I face if I sincerely consider Mizulina a present-day member of the Inquisition?”
According to Ria Novosti, insulting a state official is illegal in Russia and is punishable with a fine of up to 35,000 rubles (£650), and community service.
President Vladimir Putin signed the law in June banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community. The law is based on one first passed in St Petersburg.
The law has so far sparked controversy among LGBT activists, with some calling for a boycott of the 2014 Games. Others have also called to boycott Russian vodka as a form of protest.