Podcast No. 38. Simon & Sergei – with Igor Kochetkov

Our guest this week is Igor Viktorovich Kochetkov. Igor Viktorovich is one of the founders and current director of the Russian LGBT Network, an organisation founded in 2006 whose main office is located in St. Petersburg. The Russian LGBT Network is an interregional organisation created to provide public support for the elimination of all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is the first and only interregional LGBT organisation in Russia. The Russian LGBT Network is a member of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

Topics discussed in the podcast include: the history of the Russian LGBT Network, its goals and objectives; why it was founded in St. Petersburg; the impact on the Russian LGBT Network of the law on foreign agents; the adoption and consequences of the 2013 law against “Promotion among Minors of Non-traditional Sexual Relations”; the situation in Russia in general and in Chechnya in particular for LGBT people; amendments to the Constitution; and what needs to be done to further promote LGBT rights.

This podcast is in the Russian language. You can listen to it here:

You can also listen on Podcasts.com,  SoundCloud,  Spotify  or  iTunes

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: The breaking up of the Queer Culture Festival in 2006 was the impetus to create an organisation now known as the Russian LGBT Network. On Sunday Simon Cosgrove and I talked to one of its founders, Igor Kochetkov. It was a fascinating conversation in which Igor told us the story of how LGBT people’s rights have come to be perceived as an important component of human rights. This has happened in a relatively short time. I remember at the very beginning of my work for Amnesty International in Russia, some Amnesty activists expressed their disagreement with our position on LGBT rights. Now, this area of work for human rights defenders attracts many new people to Amnesty and is welcomed by very many. Paradoxically, it would seem, it was the shameful law of 2013 against ‘Propaganda Among Minors of Non-Traditional Sexual Relations’ that has led to this turnaround. A great deal has been done by the Russian LGBT Network, and you can find out more about the organisation and its work from their website: https://www.lgbtnet.org . In the meantime, listen to our podcast with the wonderful Igor Kochetkov.

Simon Cosgrove adds: If you want to listen to this podcast on the podcasts.com website and it doesn’t seem to play, please download by clicking on the three dots to the right. A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here

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