Dutch tourists accused of gay propaganda freed

“They were discussing human rights when suddenly the police and migration officers burst inside.”

By Cathy Kristofferson, July 22, 2013

Today a court hearing scheduled in Murmansk, Russia for the Dutch tourists arrested on ‘gay propaganda’ charges. It would seem that the judge did not hear the matter but rather “returned the case materials for further investigation.” We reported the arrests and detention of the tourists here.

The tourists were charged with an apparent violation of the new ‘anti-gay propaganda’ law by Russian authorities.  There is still no official statement from the police or authorities on the proceedings.

As things unfolded this morning, I was of the same mind as a tweet I saw:


Photo courtesy NEWSru.com

Photo courtesy NEWSru.com

Reports stated the 4 Dutch citizens (not 3 as previously reported) were detained at one of the events for “Youth Human Rights Camp” held this weekend in Murmansk. The group from Groningen, Netherlands, the Dutch “sister” city to Murmansk, is with the Stichting LGBT Groningen foundation.

They posted about the arrests saying:

“The Foundation LGBT Groningen has today with much fear the arrest of President Kris van der Veen and his film crew consisting of three others followed.  Kris made videos about what it’s like to live in Russia as a homosexual. “

Kris van der Veen is apparently also a councilor for the green party GroenLinks in Groningen. He had been invited to speak at the forum organized by Russian Sergei Alekseyenko. The Stichting LGBT Groningen foundation campaigns for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.

Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer from a St Petersburg-based LGBT network, was quoted by the AFP news agency:

“They were discussing human rights when suddenly the police and migration officers burst inside.”

ogon_l3Tatyana Kulbakina, a representative of human rights monitoring organization OGON, said the four were detained and questioned for eight hours yesterday. This morning she reported that after several delays to the start of the court proceedings, that the appearance had been cancelled saying “It looks like it won’t go to court.

Some media reports about the arrests have suggested that the filmmakers had interviewed a minor about gay issues. Alekseyenko told the BBC Russian Service that “one of the participants in the film, it emerged yesterday, turned out to be 17 years old. But when he was invited to take part he said he was 18“.


Photo courtesy NEWSru.com

The detention of the Dutch filmmakers is the first enforcement against foreigners under Putin’s legislation banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” involving minors.

Ria Novisti is now reporting that the four Dutch citizens are free to leave the country, but that the material they recorded in Russia for their film was confiscated by police.

The BBC reported that the four were fined 3,000 rubles each ($93) for violating visa rules.

Van der Veer tweeted late Monday “Leaving by car after a bizarre day in court. I believe there is no case.”

Perhaps they can thank the quick to post reporters and blogging activists for the tremendous international media coverage of the arrests which may account for the for the sudden “loss” of paperwork by police and what may have in fact been an unsaid dismissal of the case, in effect.  This sort of attention will not however help Russian citizens persecuted living under the same, if not worse, threat daily.

Meanwhile today in St. Petersburg, the  prosecutor’s office demanded Russian LGBT rights organization Coming Out stop publishing literature, holding street rallies and public activities for an indefinite period of time.

International pressure against the Russian government’s attack on LGBT rights needs to be equally relentless. Keep an eye on more calls to impact the  Olympics to be held in Russia.

[Pics and tweet text translated by Bing.]

Related articles:-

Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 Comments on “Dutch tourists accused of gay propaganda freed”

  1. Patrick Fasano July 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM #

    If it took this long in our country, it is unfortunate it will take more time for the rest of the world to follow suit. And what of the gay Olympians? Or the throngs of gay spectators who will drop millions in the Russian economy? Will those who don’t boycott, be forced to be in the closet the whole duration of the games? Hey Russia! if you’re gonna play on a world stage, have a worldly attitude.


  1. U.S. Christian Extremist Sees Russia’s New Homophobic Laws as Model | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - July 22, 2013

    […] in Russia, which culminated with the recent passage of anti-gay legislation in Russia.  Today we updated a story here on OBLOGDEE about Dutch tourists who had been arrested and detained on  so called ‘gay […]

  2. Boycott Sochi Games and Stephen Fry’s compelling letter | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - August 7, 2013

    […] Dutch tourists accused of gay propaganda freed […]

  3. The truth about Russian Vodka Boycotts, Stoli Stolichnaya and ALL OUT Boycotts | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da - August 7, 2013

    […] Dutch tourists accused of gay propaganda freed […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 442 other followers

Build a website with WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: