WITH THE G20 meeting beginning in St Petersburg tomorrow, Amnesty International want the world’s leaders to do “all in their power” to persuade the Russians to scrap their anti-gay laws.
“Russia’s new law effectively bans public activism by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. It has created a climate of intolerance and promotes violence by vigilante groups, ” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.
Amnesty Ireland highlighted an incident that took place on 29 June this year in which 55 LGBTI activists were detained by police after they attempted to hold a peaceful demonstration in St. Petersburg to raise awareness of rising discrimination and violent homophobic attacks in Russia.
Organisers had informed the city authorities of the date and the purpose of the event, as prescribed by the law, however, once the demonstration began they were told that the meeting violated a municipal ban on “propaganda of homosexuality” among minors.
When the protesters refused to cease demonstrating and leave, they were arrested.
The law, which came into force in July, does not permit gay rights rallies, with critics stating it is being used to prosecute anybody who voices support for homosexuals. The legislation also bans the adoption of children by same-sex couples.
Colm O’Gorman said:
This is state-sponsored discrimination and follows a pattern of abuse against LGBTI individuals, with officials systematically failing to investigate hate crimes. It is yet another attempt by Vladimir Putin’s government to silence anyone speaking out about human rights.