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Russian Police Make First Arrests Under New Anti-Gay Law


Human rights campaigners and gay rights activists say legislation aimed at curbing 'homosexual propaganda' runs counter to the European Convention on Human Rights. (file photo)

Human rights campaigners and gay rights activists say legislation aimed at curbing 'homosexual propaganda' runs counter to the European Convention on Human Rights. (file photo)

Russian police have detained two people in St. Petersburg for breaching a new law banning homosexual propaganda, the first arrests since the city's legislature passed the controversial legislation in February.

The two gay rights activists were arrested on April 5 after holding placards reading "It's normal to be gay."

A court hearing is scheduled for April 6.

Under the new law, people convicted of promoting homosexuality or pedophilia among minors can be fined up to 5,000 rubles ($172) and organizations can be fined up to 500,000 rubles ($17,200).

Human rights campaigners say the law is discriminatory and runs counter to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Russia's national legislature, the State Duma, is currently considering a bill that would make public support of homosexuality illegal across the country.

Based on reporting by dpa. Interfax

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