The Apple store. Source: DPA / Vostockphoto
Police in the Russian city of Kirov have launched administrative proceedings against the Apple company on a count of promoting homosexual relations over the use of emoticons featuring same-sex couples in its desktop operating system, a lawyer from Kirov, Yaroslav Mikhailov, told Interfax on Sept.24.
"I asked the police to conduct a check. I received a reply that administrative proceedings were launched," Mikhailov said.
In their official response, the police said that an administrative case had been opened on a count of 'promoting homosexual relations among minors', he added.
In accordance with the requirements of the federal law 'On the protection of children from information harming their health and development', copies of the police inquiry files have been forwarded to the Sikorsky Inter-Regional Forensic Bureau, which will have to decide whether or not these Apple emoticons actually promote homosexual relations.
"The 8.3 OIS system has same-sex couple emoticons, which may impact children on a subconscious level," the Kirov lawyer insists.
Mikhailov said that before going to the police he had discussed this issue with the Kirov region's commissioner for children's rights, who confirmed his fears.
For his part, Kirov region police spokesman Sergei Barantsev has confirmed to Interfax that an official reply was sent to Mikhailov in response to his request.
"The Interior Ministry received his request. An answer was sent to him. He published it on his [social media] page," Barantsev said, declining to comment further.
Forensic experts will have to assess the Apple emoticons, he added.
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