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UTEP graduate charged by Russian investigators for social media post

Evodokia+Romanova
Evodokia Romanova

Evodokia Romanova

Evodokia Romanova

Adrian Broaddus, Editor-In-Chief

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UTEP master’s graduate Evodokia Romanova is currently facing an investigation by the Russian police department for an administrative penalty, Code of Administrative Offenses, for a post she shared on social media regarding propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.

Romanova, who is a staff member at the LGBT rights organization Samara Regional Public LGBT Movement, also known as Avers, and a member of the Youth Coalition for Sexual Reproductive rights, was summoned by governmental authorities on July 26. She was asked to submit a witness testimony and asked to sign the case protocol.

She is now being charged with sharing posts of human rights for LGBT people in Russia on her Facebook profile from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and The Guardian.

Romanova rejected the charges and refused to submit her witness testimony as a defendant, per her Constitutional right.

“I am calm and rational,” Romanova said. “I disagree with the charges, even though for me this legislation is first of all, holds discriminatory character.”

Avers stated in a press release that they are in full support of Romanova’s dismissal of charges. Avers also stated that she did not have motivation to spread “information that is shaping unconventional sexual attitudes,” “the attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relations,” “a distorted view of the social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relations,” or “the imposition of information on non-traditional sexual relations that causes interest in such relationships”—all of which she is being charged for.

Russian law does not restrict individuals from speaking freely on rights and freedoms of sexual minorities or sharing information regarding homosexuality, per the press release.

The group speculates that the charges stem from Romanova’s work in the human rights field and the charges come off in a threatening manner.

“I hope that this case, in compilation with the other cases of this sort, will help the human rights activists from my country to argue the law in the European court on human rights, as it contributes to the strengthening of hate speech and hate crime towards someone whose opinion is different than the opinion of the government,” Romanova said.

Romanova asks that anyone who opposes these charges implemented on her to e-mail the Police Department in the Samara Region, gumvd63@mvd.ru.

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UTEP graduate charged by Russian investigators for social media post