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Russia: St Petersburg LGBT film fest interrupted by bomb threat

Incident follows news that gay.ru avoids shutdown after complaint

Russia's LGBT community continues to face threats with news of a bomb threat at a film festival and the attempted shutdown of a gay news portal. Credit: countrywatch.com

Russia's LGBT community and its organizations continue to face threats from opponents, with news of the interruption of St Petersburg's Side by Side film festival because of a bomb threat and the attempted shutdown of a gay news site.

Queer Russia reports that the cinema hosting the Side by Side festival's opening film was evacuated Nov 21 as police searched the building. The report says no bomb was found and the event resumed after a 90-minute delay. As about 200 attendees gathered for the festival, authorities also had to keep a group of anti-gay protesters away from the cinema, Queer Russia adds.

Earlier, Gay Star News said the gay.ru news site avoided having its operations closed down and paying a stiff fine after complaints were made to media watchdogs that it was flouting Russia's "gay propaganda" law. But according to the report, the site's administration was cleared of wrongdoing as the news portal indicates that it is for adults only.

Recently, a Russian journalist was also arrested for publishing a piece featuring a former teacher, who was quoted as saying that his life is "proof" that "being gay is normal."

A popular gay club in Moscow was also the scene of a shooting Nov 16. No was injured in the incident.