Skip to main content

As Russia remains hostile to its LGBT citizens, a scary new law is making its way through Russia's legislature. Both citizens and visitors would be fingerprinted, and anyone refusing could be deported and banned from visiting for fifteen years. And, that is not the worst or most frightening thing about the law. A national database would be created for anyone with HIV. Supposedly, the law is to make it easier to fight crime.

This is reported in hivplusmag and The Advocate.

From the article:

State Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov of the Liberal Democratic party told reporters that the database would include people with "dangerous contagious diseases" and the rule would apply to both Russian citizens and foreigners visitors. According to RT, "several federal ministries and agencies, including the Federal Migration Service, Interior Ministry, Emergencies Ministry and Prosecutor General’s Office have already approved the draft."

Khudyakov told reporters that the new law is needed because some HIV-positive people "change their names and disappear from the state system… [but] fingerprinting would make it impossible." He insisted that the universal fingerprinting would some how make it easier to fight crime.

How such a law could somehow help to fight crime is puzzling to me. It seems discriminatory toward folks with such health issues, and not helpful at all.
While the bill has drawn some opposition, it appears as though it's likely it is to pass, in a country where there's been an alarming stigmatization of — and a wave of government sanctioned violence against — of gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women. This kind of move will likely further persecute those groups and all people with HIV regardless of gender or orientation.
While we continue to make progress for LGBT folks and persons with HIV in the USA, other countries (such as Russia and Uganda) are retrograding quickly.

Originally posted to librarisingnsf on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Witchhunt (6+ / 0-)

    Very sad. Thanks for alerting us to this.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:53:20 AM PDT

  •  Russia has a long history of draconian... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, FloridaSNMOM

    ...anti-HIV laws.

    You generally cannot travel to Russia if you are HIV-positive although it appears they now waive this for short visits, at least.

  •  Followed by Jews.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:19:09 AM PDT

    •  Where dfid you get that idea from? (0+ / 0-)
      Putin in Passover greeting: Russian Jews make huge contribution
      “The Jewish community in Russia is making an enormous contribution to strengthening the ties between various peoples and religions in our country; increasing trust and mutual understanding between individuals,” Putin wrote in his greeting, which reproduced.

      Putin also wrote that the Jewish community “works to preserve stability and consensus in the general public and actively participates in the education of the younger generation as well as charity and humanitarian actions.”

      That is a remarkable statement considering Jews make up 0.133% of the Russian populations compared to 17% for Muslims. BTW, 1 in 7 Israelis are ethnic Russian.

      Yes, there are sporadic cases of antisemitism in Russia. But there are also just as many in the US.

      Google "putin netanyahu" to see why your comment is nonsense.

      •  It's just going to be a byproduct of rising (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        nationalism. I'm not saying it'd be unique to Russia; you'd have it here too. Nationalists always look for scapegoats. Blacks and Jews are usually the first.

        I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

        by pajoly on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:23:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen a much greater tendency towards (0+ / 0-)

          nationalism going on in the western part of the Ukraine. I've seen the opposite in south eastern Ukraine.

          Here's the Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh in a chilling demonstration of nationalism. His comments are eerily similar to what we heard in the 1930's Germany.

          Appeal Of The Right Sector Leader Dmytro Yarosh To The People Of Ukraine
          April 12, 2014
          Due to this, I appeal to all citizens of Ukraine to be ready to put pressure on the current government through protests, assemblies, etc.

          In the war time, governments should not be criticized. That is right.

          But it is also important to remember that in the war time, traitors are executed.

          All of the Ukrainian society now must show the greatest unanimity.

          Panic, pacifism, hysteria about avoiding provocations, and the need to finding peaceful solution to the situation plays only into the hands of our enemies.

          Say Yes to national unity, say Yes to readiness of the decisive resistance to the invaders.

          Say No to pacifism and capitulation.

          Citizens, organize self-defense units, connect with the Right Sector representatives in the regions and join our forces.

          Together we will suppress anti-Ukrainian insurgency and renew territorial integrity of our motherland.

          Glory to Ukraine!

  •  Russia has a HIV and Tuberculosis (3+ / 0-)


    In 2007, 83% of HIV infections in Russia were registered among IDUs, 6% among sex workers, and 5% among prisoners.[18] - though as of 2010 the share of IDUs had gone down to ca. 70%.[19] In 2007, 93.19% of adults and children with advanced HIV infection were receiving antiretroviral therapy.[20][21] The official number of registered HIV-infected people — 703,781 (22 November 2012)[22]

    Making the situation worse in Russia, is that the moment of people, has created regional epidemics in rural areas, lacking full medical services, that were HIV/Tuburculosis free.

    The number of people affected varies from survey to survey, but Intravenus Drug Users, comprise between a low of 82% to a high of 97% of reported cases.

    Adding to the problems, are negative views of drug users, a lack of sex education, drug education, etc, just like in Reagan's America. Medical Authorities have worked hard on the ground to use the proven techniques of needle exchanges, education programs, oral methadone, and free HIV medical treatment ,etc but are short of funds and face societal resistence, in the Politics and the older Medical establishment.

    Starting with the Afghan War, made worse by the break up of the Soviet Union and the economic collapse, then flooded with post US Invasion Afghan heroin, Russia suffers from a serious drug problem. Without effective programs and education, the worst case projection is that by 2020, 50% of Russia's population will be HIV positive and close to 35% will suffer from tuberculosis.

    Statistically, the  open LBGT community in Russia, omitting the IVD users and Sex Workers, accounts for less than 1% of HIV cases. This is because, following the model and with the support of Western LBGT communities, ( who had encountered the same issues in The 80's and early 90's in the West), the Russian LBGT community self educates on the issue.

    The "target" of this proposed law , is not the LBGT community in Russia, it is the IVD user community, who are viewed pretty much the same way in the West, as junkies, street people and petty violent Criminals.

    Like the many proposed and enacted "semi-criminalization laws" in Reagan's America, it will have the same effect as the Reagan era laws, driving much of the Communities effected underground, and will have no effect on the spread.

    But, it is a Political law, from a Politician in a country that on social issues, has advanced from a State Dictatorship to a "New Morning in America".

    •  I'd say it targets both. (0+ / 0-)

      Read the comments made by the Russian official.

      •  Nowhere in the Ministers remarks, (0+ / 0-)

        Does the Minister refer, even in Russian Dog whistle form, the Russian LBGT community. he doesn't do it on the quotes in the Diary, he does not do it on the base article, and he does not do it in any of the English Language articles I can find, including RT, covering this law.

        If the Law, is enforced fully, ( which it won't be due to a lack of resources), based on HIV infection rates in Russian society, roughly 82% of IVD drug users will have their fingerprints on file, around 42% of Sex Trade workers have their fingerprints on file, roughly 17% of the admitted LBGT Community will have their fingerprints on file, and close to 2% of non Drug using, non LBGT and non Sex Trade Russians will have their fingerprints on file.

        The HIV infection rate in the admitted LBGT community is small, due to self  education and community education. Many  in the community who are infected, became infected, prior to "coming out" and joining the Community.

        Russia is seeing the same thing we saw in Reagan's America. first it was a "Gay" disease and it was ignored, then it was a Gay, junkie and hooker disease and the "answer" was to stick them in prison. Then it was a Gay, Junkie, Hooker and Felon disease and it was ignored.

        And then Middle America started to come down with HIV, from blood transfusions, sex with prostitutes, sex with ex-felons, and poor medical practices. Then, and only then, did HIV start to be destigmatized, and effectively dealt with.

        In 2012, the last year we have stats for, 21% of the new reported cases of HIV are believed to have been caused by infected blood transfusions, poor medical practices and unprotected Societally Approved sex.

        Like the Reagan Era Laws, this program will not be effective and will simply drive a number of the HIV infected, "underground", although the Moscovi Police, will be able to solve a few of the rash of car thefts, minor B&E's, Purse Snatchings and other, small time property crimes.

        At one time or another, The US, Canada, Mexico, Britain, Germany, Haiti, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland and a host of other countries tried to or enacted similar laws, and in every case, the Law was counterproductive.

        •  The quote in the diary (0+ / 0-)

          is COPIED directly from the base article. So, it is exact unless they have changed it. Nevertheless, Russia IS and has been targeting its LGBT community, and that includes HIV Positive persons as well. I'm not sure why you would want to dispute that.

          •  Russia is targeting it's LBGT (0+ / 0-)

            Community for the same reason that Red States target their LBGT communities, and 30 years ago, Blue States targeted their LBGT communities,

            It wins them votes amongst the regressive religious and conservative voters.

            Please quote the portion of the Ministers remarks, that you think, specifically, or in Russian Dog Whistles, references Russia's LBGT community , because I have read it several times, looking for that reference.

            This law sadly target's HIV and Tuburculosis patients, of whom, less than 1% are admitted LBGT.

            To put it another way, based on the 2012 stats,  this Law semi-criminalizes:
            -996,000 drug users,
            -72,000 Sex Trade Workers,
            -61,000 Prisoners and released Felons,
            -28,000 law abiding State Approved Sex having Russians, and
            -4,800 admitted members of the LBGT community.

            •  Yes, it criminalizes those folks. (0+ / 0-)

              The 4,800 members of the LGBT community number sounds awfully low to me.

              I read your previous comment incorrectly ... I thought you had implied that I misquoted the article. Nevertheless the article has come up with the same conclusion that I have .. that the LGBT community is part of what this law targets. I certainly did not make it up. And, frankly, I believe what is in the article considering what I have read and heard regarding Russia's propaganda laws (and how the LGBT community there has suffered as a result). To believe or think otherwise would be naive (IMO). I'm not sure why you are trying to make light of it.

              It doesn't make any difference that other countries have treated their LGBT folks and folks with HIV in a hateful or fearful fashion. It still does not make it right for Russia to being doing this.

              •  So I spent a bunch of time (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Online, hunting down all the old ugly stories about laws, like Cuba's IS277.8 , passed in 1987, that mandated nationwide HIV testing and Quarentining of HIV positive individuals,


                Canada's 1985 NHR 265.2 that tried to do the same thing, passed the House, was turned down by the Senate for violating the Charter of rights, and  eventually, wound up being a national registry, with major privacy protections for Patients in 1988.

                I had to swim back through the blatant homophobia of British Lord Monck's HL271 and California's 1985 Prop22, and I didn't have to.

                One reason the HIV numbers for admitted LBGT patients is low, is because since the mid 1980's, the Russian LBGT community has been self educating and community educating very effectively.

                In contrast, Russia and the Russian Government is still in basic denial, and the Russian Medical Establishment only "modernized" it's approach to HIV in 1995, and that is only amongst the HIV Specialists.

                Another reason why the number is so low, is that it is amongst the admitted LBGT community, those who are either publicaly out, or are out in the community, and does not include those in the community who are sex trade workers or IVD users.

                The number is also low, because of the number of LBGT people in Russia who are not out, even to themselves.

                One of the tragic effects of Russian State, political and social persecution of the LBGT community is that it actively aids the epidemic quality of the spreading HIV crisis in Russia.

                In Russia, initially HIV was stigmatized as a LBGT disease, now it is stigmatized as a Junkie/Criminal/TDM disease. 70% of all Russians admit that they have a family member or friend, with HIV, and they shun them.

                Russia has not had it's Dr. Peter moment, or it's Ryan White moment,


                someone to humanize the face of HIV and pull the awareness into mainstream society.

                HIV in Russia is now epidemic amongst the General Population, and with laws like this, the epidemic is only going to get worse.

                •  Thanks for all the hard work. (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't think those laws were passed with the same intent ... "to reduce crime". As always, context matters. I still believe this law to be more draconian. But, I am glad that the tone of your last comment indicates that you are at least taking it more seriously.

                  •  If applied, the Laws, (0+ / 0-)

                    Will require a manditory fingerprint database, which means that either Doctors, Hospitals and Clinics will be supplied with fingerprint ID kits, and the scanning technology,

                    And this in a Medical economy where they sterilize and reuse disposable needles, because they can't afford to throw them out,

                    Or the Police will be made responsible for gathering the fingerprints, again, in a country that is so short of Police services that less than 7% of non-violent crime is even investigated.

                    "In Theory", the Law will reduce crime, because in theory, the fingerprints will be taken and added to the National database, and in theory, crimes in which fingerprints have been, will be in theory, compared against this additional data, and in theory will result in the solving of a few purse Snatchings, B&E's and Car Break ins.

                    In reality, this law will be seen by some voters as means to address some of the street crime and some of the junkie/TDM crime problem and some Legislators will get some votes.

                    In reality, the Law will sit on the books, along with hundreds of other Laws that have been passed in the past, and will not be inforced, as there is no money to enact this law.

                    It is a stupid law, which I more or less said in my first post, and will do nothing to effect the HIV/Tuburculosis epidemic in Russia, and if any money is actually spent trying to get this law up and running, it will be utterly wasted.

                    And yet, all effective HIV programs in Russia are massively underfunded.

                    Aside from the HIV Medical specialists, the only Community in Russia that has an effective handle on HIV and rapidly falling new infection rates is the LBGT community.

                    •  How do you know that the law (0+ / 0-)

                      will not be enforced (if passed). It seems to me that the Russians (meaning Russian officials) can find the money/funding to do whatever the hell they want to do, regardless of who it might hurt.

                      I truly hope you are right, but I think you are making a lot of assumptions that I don't necessarily buy. And, again, I think you're being naïve about this.

                      •  Because the Laws (0+ / 0-)

                        Regarding IVD use, both Criminal, and Medical, are either underfunded or unfunded.

                        Russia "needs" by Law, to spend 11.8mRu a year on methadone treatment and they can only come up with 3mRu, of which, 1.5mRu comes from the IMF and the WHO.

                        The 18 month Minimum Mandatory Sentencing Law and Mandatory Drug Treatment Law passed 4 years ago, required an estimated 32mRU a year, of which the Government came up with 0.4mRU for the first year only. Even though it illegal, no IVD drug users have been sent to jail for IVD drug use and the Mandatory Minimums were shut down by the Court, because none of the funding for either the jail programs or the treatment programs have been put in place.

                        There are privacy and civil rights protections in the Russian Constitution, a very active Legal aid and activist community and a Supreme Court system that is as "good" as our own,

                        by which I mean, a lot of the time it's shit and corrupted but it does get some things right.

                        A lot of US Pols voted for DOMA, and how in the short run, has that played out?

                        In Russia, passing stupid, unenforceable laws, that won't withstand a legal challenge, is step 1 of a reelection campaign.

                        RSI 218.2, an anti-Corporate corruption law passed with an 86/9/5 vote, was signed into Law by the President, and the CIB was told not to even try using the law for even a warrant, as it would not even stand a challenge in the Lower Courts.

        •  Would you mind pointing me to (0+ / 0-)

          any time in the past that the USA or Britain or France has passed such a law. There have probably been some states that have had similar (distasteful and draconian) laws, but I'm not aware of anything nationwide.

          Anyway, we are NOT talking about the past. We are talking about NOW!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site