Following reports in international media (The Guardian, Le Monde) the International Publishers Association is extremely concerned about a new bill which, if adopted, will prohibit the ‘promotion of non-traditional sexual relations’. This legislation will undoubtedly seriously diminish the freedom to publish in Russia.

Reports in Le Monde quote Oleg Novikov, the CEO of Eksmo, Russia’s largest publishing house, estimating that 50% of their books would be threatened by the bill.

Kristenn Einarsson, Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee said: This new bill targets the LGBTQ+ community and sees the Russian state step up its censorship of creative works. Russian publishers will find themselves at risk, even when publishing some classics of Russian literature. If there is time to step back from this disastrous bill, we urge the Russian authorities to do so.

Under the new law, individuals can be fined up to 400,000 roubles and organisations 5m roubles for “propagandising nontraditional sexual relations”, while foreigners could face up to 15 days’ arrest and expulsion from Russia. 

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