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Pending Court Cases

Since 2005, Project GayRussia has initiated over 200 court cases throughout Russia to support its campaigns on freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of expression, family rights of LGBT people but also against hate speech. It is part of Gayrussia’s core strategy to mix on one hand direct actions and on the other to improve LGBT rights through challenging the legal system. Each case was always appealed to higher instances and one was taken up to the Constitutional Court. However, despite all the efforts put in the battle by GayRussia’s lawyers, all the cases were lost. Russian Courts have been very innovative in writing decision upholding the bans of LGBT public action or the denial to register LGBT organization. General Prosecution denied opening criminal investigations allowed under article 282 of the Criminal code in the issue of hatred towards social group on the basis that LGBT people were not forming a social group.

As a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Russian citizens can challenge any breach of these international treaties through the European Court of Human Rights and the Human Rights Committee of the UN. While the decision given by the European Court are obligatory for Russia and their implementation is monitored by the Committee of Minister of the Council of Europe, the decisions of the Human Rights Committee of the UN are not obligatory however a condemnation by the UN has a significant symbolical value. In addition, any advance obtained from these jurisdictions benefit to citizens of other member states which ratified these treaties.

GayRussia always further appealed to the European Court of Human Rights the cases which concerned a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. A major victory came in October 2010 when the Strasbourg based Court gave the first decision against Russia on a LGBT issue with the case of the Moscow Pride ban. The decision came into force on April 11 after the request for appeal submitted by Russia was rejected by the Court. This case goes much beyond the border of LGBT rights as it is the first decision given on the issue of freedom of assembly in the perspective of the current law on public demonstration. Following this decision, several marches of Human Rights defenders were allowed in Moscow.

Several cases were submitted to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations arguing a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A positive outcome obtained at the Human Rights Committee would make a jurisprudence available for LGBT activists all around the world including in Asia, Africa and South America.

Over the last years, GayRussia became from far the most active NGO in International Instances.

Below is a list of the cases which are currenty pending:

- Before the European Court of Human Rights

Right to education: 1 case
Alekseyev v. Russia № 9689/06, initiated 15.05.2006
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev against Lomonosov Moscow State University
Article 8 and Article 14 (in conjunction with Article 8 and Article 2 of Protocol No. 1)

Freedom of Assembly: 11 cases
Alekseyev (No. 2) v. Russia № 25924/08 merged with № 4916/07, initiated 27.01.2009
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of the picketing in front of the Office of General Prosecution in May 2008
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Alekseyev (No. 4) v. Russia № 14988/09, initiated 11 March 2009
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of public events in Tambov in October 2008
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Alekseyev v. Russia merged with № 14988/09, initiated 6.02.2009
Case of the denial of the march in Alexandrovskiy Garden in May 2008
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Alekseyev v. Russia merged with № 14988/09, initiated 5.08.2009
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of public events in Ryazan in March 2009
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Alekseyev v. Russia merged with № 14988/09, initiated 10 February 2010
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of public events of forth Moscow Gay Pride (Slavic Gay Pride) in May 2009 and the picketing in front of the US Embassy in July 2009
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Fedotova v. Russia, № 2064/10, initiated 27.11.2009
Case of Irina Fedotova concerning the ban of the picketing against hemorrhoids in Russia in April 2009
Article 11, Article 13 (in conjunction with Article 11)

Sutyagin v. Russia, № 13518/10, initiated 10.02.2010
Case of Anton Sutyagin concerning the ban of the picketing in front of the Iranian Embassy in Moscow in July 2009
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Nepomnyaschiy v. Russia, initiated 17.06.2008
Case of Kirill Nepomnyaschiy concerning the ban of the picketing in front of the office of “Fair Russia” party in September 2007
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Nepomnyaschiy v. Russia, initiated 17.06.2008
Case of Kirill Nepomnyaschiy concerning the ban of the picketing in front of EU Commission in Moscow for the introduction of ban on Luzhkov to enter EU in June 2007
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Alekseyev v. Russia
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of public events of the fifth Moscow Gay Pride in May 2010 (pending in appeal)
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Nepomnyaschiy v. Russia
Case of Kirill Nepomnyaschiy concerning the ban of the picketings against the Prefer of Northern Administrative District of Moscow Oleg Mitvol in August 2009 (ready for ECHR)
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Cases of St. Petersburg based partner Organization Equality:
Yefremenkova and Others v. Russia
Case of the ban of public events of St. Petersburg Gay Pride in June 2010 (pending in appeal)
Article 11, Article 13, Article 14 in conjunction with Article 11

Hate Speech: 1 case
Alekseyev, Bayev, Nepomnyaschiy v. Russia, № 39954/09, initiated 22.09.2009
Case concerning the homophobic statements of Tambov Governor Oleg Betin
Article 2, Article 3, Article 14 (in conjunction with Articles 2 and 3)

Freedom of Expression: 1 case
Bayev v. Russia, № 67667/09, initiated 7.11.2009
Case of Nikolay Bayev concerning the limitation on his freedom of expression in Ryazan
Article 10 alone and in conjunction with Article 14

Family Right, Right to Marry: 1 case
Fedotova and Shipitko v. Russia, ……./10 no number yet, initiated 20.07.2010
Case of Irina Fedotova and Irina Shipitko concerning the denial of marriage in Moscow in May 2009
Article 12, Article 14 (in conjunction with Article 8)

Freedom of Association: 1 case
Alekseyev v. Russia
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the denial to register “Marriage Equality” organization in January 2010

- Before the Unitd Nations Human Rights Committee:

Freedom of Assembly: 1 case
Alekseyev v. Russia, № 1873/2009, initiated 25.03.2009
Case of Nikolay Alekseyev concerning the ban of the picketing in front of the Iranian Embassy in July 2008
Article 21 of the ICCPR

Freedom of Expression: 1 case
Fedotova v. Russia, № 1932/2010, initiated 10.02.2010
Case of Irina Fedotova concerning denial of freedom of expression in Ryazan
Article 19 and Article 26 of the ICCPR

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