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Amnesty Assails Verdict Against Gay Activist, Urges Repeal Of 'Absurd' Law

International rights group Amnesty International has urged Russian authorities to abolish their "absurd" legislation used to punish an activist who shared LGBT-related articles on Facebook.

In a statement on October 18, Amnesty assailed Russia's "homophobic legislation" after a woman activist was fined for posting links to articles related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues on social media.

Amnesty said Yevdokia Romanova had earlier in the day been found guilty and fined $870 in a Samara court for spreading "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships among minors using the Internet."

She was accused of sharing links on Facebook in 2015 and 2016, including a Guardian newspaper article on a same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland and a Buzzfeed article about an LGBT exhibition in St. Petersburg.

"The absurd accusations against Yevdokia Romanova are a sad illustration of the desperate circumstances currently faced by activists working on LGBTI issues in Russia," said Denis Krivosheyev, Amnesty's deputy director for Europe and Central Asia.

"Even the simple freedom to share an online story with friends is now limited by legislation that is blatantly discriminatory and homophobic," Krivosheyev added.

Romanova is a member of a local LGBT chapter and an active member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Amnesty said.

The rights group said the law -- also known as the "homosexual propaganda" law -- was passed in Russia in June 2013.

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