After ordering the closure of Memorial, one of the oldest civil rights groups in Russia, Russian authorities started legal action to liquidate the country’s biggest LGBT+ organization. Take action to save the Russian LGBT+ movement.
Russian LGBT Network is an interregional movement representing various LGBT+ initiatives and activists all across the country. Without it, hundreds of LGBT+ lives wouldn’t have been saved from the anti-LGBT+ crackdown in Chechnya since 2017.
In over 15 years, since it started its work in 2006, the Russian LGBT Network has been providing legal and psychological assistance to LGBT+ people across the country, supporting various initiatives and organizations, lending emergency assistance in crisis situations, and engaging in monitoring and advocacy. In addition, it promotes public awareness about LGBT+ people and discrimination against them, and makes a significant contribution to overcoming homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the Russian society.
The Russian LGBT Network and initiatives and activists associated with it have constantly been targeted with threats, provocations and defamation campaigns. In November of 2021, the Russian LGBT Network was labeled as ‘foreign agent’, but Russian authorities have now brought their attacks to a whole new level: they have started legal action to permanently liquidate Charitable Foundation Sphere, organization operating all the programs of the Movement, which would leave the Russian LGBT Network largely without the ability to carry out its work.
The Russian Ministry of Justice claims that the foundation aims at altering the “moral foundations of the Russian Federation” and tries to “bring discord into the Russian society by acting in violation of the country’s Constitution.” The activity of helping LGBT+ people, according to the Ministry, does not align with Russian traditional values.
The Kremlin's policy of putting pressure on civil society has already led to a shutdown of a number of research centers, HIV organizations, legal and journalist projects, NGOs assisting victims of domestic violence and survivors of state repressions. And in December 2021, Memorial, one of the country's most respected human rights organizations, was shut down by the authorities.
The liquidation of the organization operating all the Russian LGBT Network’s programs would lead to the termination of all its work, leaving those who rely on their assistance without support. It would also be a clear signal sent by the authorities to the civil society that any LGBT+ activism is taboo.
This is a clear attack against the entire human rights movement in Russia, including the LGBT+ movement.
We call on you to sign this petition to help the biggest LGBT+ organization in Russia survive!
Support Charitable Foundation Sphere
Support the Russian LGBT Network's programs
Both Charitable Foundation Sphere and the Russian LGBT Network are recognized as foreign agents by the Russian Ministry of Justice. We are obligated to specify that under the Russian law.
Update from April 21, 2022: Today, a judge in St. Petersburg issued a decision to shut down Charitable Foundation Sphere, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates, and end its life-saving work in support of the Russian LGBT+ community. The Russian authorities are using a baseless claim that helping LGBT+ people is against traditional Russian values.
The team of Sphere has declared it will resist and continue providing legal, psychological and emergency assistance to the LGBT+ community, and do everything possible to ensure that this work continues without interruption, regardless of the legal status of their team. But they will need your support.
Urge the Russian authorities to revoke this decision by signing and sharing this petition.
Correction, April 28, 2022: In All Out's latest email about this campaign, it was implied that the Russian LGBT Network was shut down. This is not correct. The court has shut down Charitable Foundation Sphere, the legal entity under which the Russian LGBT Network operates. The Russian LGBT Network is a movement that unites a multitude of various LGBT+ initiatives and activists from across Russia and will continue its activities despite the court's decision.