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Russian LGBT Activist Fined For Gay 'Propaganda'

A court in Russia's northwestern city of Murmansk has fined a local activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights on charges of propagating "nontraditional sexual relations" among minors.

The Murmansk-based LGBT rights group Maximum said on January 21 that activist Sergei Alekseyenko was fined 100,000 rubles ($1,200) for his former organization's statement regarding a probe against a gay-rights group in another Russian city.

Alekseyenko says he will appeal the ruling.

He noted that his organization, The Murmansk Center -- which worked for social and psychological assistance to bring legal support to victims of discrimination and homophobia -- was shut down in October 2015 after the Justice Ministry placed it on the official register of organizations "operating as foreign agents."

In 2013, the Russian Duma passed a controversial law banning the promotion of gay "propaganda" to minors.

The law has sparked criticism by domestic and international rights defenders.