On Friday, Jan. 31, Russian journalist Elena Klimova was charged with “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” for starting an online project called “Children 404.” According to Amnesty International’s website, “‘Children 404’ began in March 2013, after Kilmova published a series of articles about LGBT teenagers, in order to support them and give them a space to speak about their problems. The project was named as an allusion to the message ‘404 Page not found’ one receives when a web page does not exist.” If the court does decide that Kilmova broke Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, then she will be heavily fined and “Children 404” will be shut down.
The College’s Amnesty International and PRISM staged a die-in on Monday, Feb. 17, in hopes to raise awareness of the unfair treatment of Kilmova, according to sophomore psychology and women’s and gender studies double major Disha Dass. Students were also able to sign a petition to appeal Russia’s homophobic propaganda laws.
Members of Amnesty International and PRISM laid down as if dead in front of the Brower Student Center with some holding signs explaining just a couple of the violent acts against LGBT citizens.
One sign read that, “On May 29, 2013, the body of Oleg Serdyuk, the openly gay director of Kamchatka airport was found in his burned out car, having been beaten and stabbed to the death the previous day.” Another read that “In Aug. 2013, an anti-gay Russian neo-Nazi group kidnapped and tortured a young Uzbek man to cure him of his homosexulaity.”
Dass said they hope to garner as many signatures as possible to see an end to this violence.