Founder of Russian LGBTI youth support site to face charges
Yelena Klimova, the founder of Russian website, Children 404, which offers support to young LGBTI people has been charged under the nation’s anti-gay propaganda laws.
Klimova told the AFP charges had been laid and a court hearing was due to be set in the next couple of weeks.
Klimova’s site hosts thousands of coming out stories by Russian teenagers, who have shared their experience of coming to family, friends and teachers.
If convicted, Klimova faces a hefty fine and the possibility of jail time.
The 25-year-old journalist is the latest Russian to be charged under the new ban on the promotion of homosexuality to minors, which President Vladimir Putin signed into law last June.
The investigation into Klimova was launched by Vitaly Milonov, one of the instigators of the law who said he was prompted to investigate the site after complaints from parents.
'I initiated a check into the site Children 404 because parents of children wrote to me sounding the alarm. On this site, people told children that sodomy is normal, that you can give it a try,' Milonov told AFP.
Although Klomova hosts the site – the content provided online is written by the teenagers themselves so the journalist did not understand how it could contravene the new laws.