April 29th, 1993, marked the signing of a decree repealing Russia's law which banned consensual sex between men. The decree, signed by President Boris Yeltsin and published a month later, included a variety of unrelated changes in the laws of the Russian Federation. According to Lev Ivanov, one of the lawyers on the Parliament Legislation Committee that dealt with the legal changes, the publication of the new law means that gay men still in prison under Article 121.1 should be released immediately. Due to the chaotic prison system in Russia, it isn't clear that the government will know who or where these hundreds, perhaps thousands, of prisoners are. A team of researchers made up of Russian gay and lesbian activists and two IGLHRC representatives has been organized to interview prisoners, document their sentences and seek their immediate release.
Published on August 1, 1993 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization