MOSCOW - Four Dutch citizens shooting a film about gays in Russia were detained and accused of spreading "gay propaganda" on Monday, in the first instance of a controversial new law being used against foreign citizens.
The four were accused by police of disseminating propaganda and were awaiting a court hearing after apparently missing their flight out of the northern city of Murmansk, where they were participating in a human rights forum.
"They were discussing human rights when suddenly the police and migration officers burst inside," said Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer from the Saint Petersburg-based Russian LGBT network which is providing the suspects with legal support.
Although they were not formally put under arrest, the four were forced to spend six hours in a police station Sunday without the presence of a translator or a Dutch representative, and were fined 3,000 rubles each (about $90) for violating visa rules, she added.
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