[Filmfestivalresearch] Side by Side LGBT Film Festival First to Go to Trial in Saint Petersburg Concerning 'Foreign Agents' Law.

Manny de Guerre manny at bok-o-bok.ru
Thu May 23 11:37:23 CEST 2013

Press Release: 23rd May, 2013 

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival First to Go to Trial in Saint Petersburg
Concerning 'Foreign Agents' Law. 

On 24th May, 2013 at 15.30 Side by Side LGBT Film Festival will contest at
the local magistrates court, No 206 (14 Kazanskaya Street) allegations drawn
up by the prosecutor accusing the organization of violating Article 19.34 of
the administrative code relating to the conduct of non-commercial
organizations and their status as 'foreign agents'. In the event Side by
Side is found guilty the organization is faced with a fine of 500,000 Rubles
(12,500 Euros). 

In recent weeks hundreds of NGOs across Russia have been faced with checks
into their activities. In Saint Petersburg alone 40 organizations were
visited by officials from the Ministry of Justice, tax inspectors and
police. While two other NGOs - LGBT Organization Coming Out and Memorial -
are also awaiting hearings concerning their failure to register as a
'Foreign Agent' numerous other organizations were issued with warnings that
if they received funds from abroad and were involved in what the prosecutor
deemed as 'political activity' legal proceedings would also be taken against
them in the future.  

Concerning Side by Side LGBT Film Festival the prosecutor cited two accounts
of 'political activity': firstly the publication of a brochure: The
Worldwide LGBT Movement: Local Practices to Global Politics and secondly,
participation in the social awareness campaign: "Let's Stop the Homophobic
Bill Together." Notably, both these activities were implemented prior to the
21 November, 2012 when the law came into force. The evidence presented by
the prosecutor is peppered with errors and based on very flimsy and
insubstantial evidence. Any judge looking objectively at this information
would automatically throw the case out of the court. If the judge's decision
at tomorrow's hearing proves otherwise, however, it is proof that the case
against the festival is politically motivated, a clear attempt to silence
its invaluable work and further confirmation that the Russian courts are not
a place for justice. 

The hearing will take place on 24th May, 2013 at 15.30 at the local
magistrates court, No 206, 14 Kazanskaya Street, Saint Petersburg.
Representing the festival is lawyer Dmitry Bartenev. 

Manny de Guerre

Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival

manny at bok-o-bok.ru 

Тel: +7.812.313.9341  


www.bok-o-bok.ru <http://www.bok-o-bok.ru/>   

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