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Russia releases detained Dutch filmmakers

Team fined and banned from Russia, but not tried in court

The Dutch filmmakers return home after their arrest in Russia. Credit:

Four Dutch citizens are back in the Netherlands after being detained in Russia for violating a law against gay propaganda. 

“Welcome back,” the Groningen LGBT Foundation posted on Facebook on July 23. 

The foundation’s president, Kris van der Veen, and three other Dutch nationals were in Russia to film a documentary about gay life in St Petersburg and Murmansk. 

They were arrested under a Russian law signed by Russian president Vladmir Putin in June banning “propaganda of homosexuality among minors.” 

According to Gay Star News, the filmmakers have been banned from Russia for three years and each fined 3,000 rubles ($95 CDN). 

A government spokesman said they were banned because “the declaration of their purpose of stay in the Russian Federation did not correspond to what they were doing.”

Police initially told the four that they would be tried in a court. The trial was then cancelled, and they were sent home.