Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry has reportedly begun calling transgender people in for questioning
Russia’s Internal Affairs Ministry has begun calling transgender people in for questioning in St. Petersburg and the Arkhangelsk region, reports human rights organization Sphere. Police officers are demanding trans people explain how they obtained medical certificates confirming their gender reassignment.
According to Sphere, the ministry sent summonses to two people in the Arkhangelsk region and one person in St. Petersburg. One man who was called in said that during the “interview,” an officer asked him where he got his certificate, how much it cost, who recommended getting it, and who was on the approval committee. The officer also asked if he had attended any LGBTQ+ parties. When he said he couldn’t remember, he was given another summons and told: “We’ll keep calling you in [until you do].”
He later sent his certificate to the police, after which they called and asked how he’d gotten the certificate issued in one day. According to the man, the police said that if the certificate turned out to be invalid, he would be forced to detransition.
Katya Dikovskaya, the head of the legal assistance program at Sphere, says the questioning may be part of a police investigation into institutions that issue these medical certificates and the validity of the certificates.
In July 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning gender transition. It’s now illegal for transgender people in Russia to change the gender marker on their official documents, undergo gender-affirming surgery, or adopt children. The government can also now annul marriages if one partner has changed their gender marker.
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