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Dublin: 12 °C Saturday 25 October, 2014

Amnesty Ireland: ‘G20 leaders must stand up to Russia’s draconian homophobic law’

Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty Ireland has said the anti-gay laws create a climate of intolerance.

Demonstrators hold a poster with the portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest march in Berlin, Germany this August.
Demonstrators hold a poster with the portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a protest march in Berlin, Germany this August.
Image: Gero Breloer/AP/Press Association Images

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.

Homophobic laws

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.

Read: Here’s the letter gay actor Wentworth Miller sent to a Russian film festival>

Read: Russian sprinters appear to protest ‘anti gay’ law with podium kiss>

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