The International Olympics Committee has chosen Russia’s side in the crackdown of the LGBT community, according to a leading member of the European Parliament.
The European Parliament discuss the rise of homophobia and xenophobia in Russia in Strasbourg tomorrow (10 October).
Sophie in ‘t Velt MEP, vice president of the LGBT Intergroup, has said: ’The recent decree by president Putin banning demonstrations and rallies for two and a half months in Sochi around the 2014 Winter Olympics should be a wake-up call to the International Olympic Committee.
‘The IOC has also banned all expressions of support, including rainbow nail polish.
‘Clearly, the Committee has chosen Russia’s side by shielding them from criticism. I call upon the new IOC President Thomas Bach to take appropriate measures and fiercely condemn these laws.’
Michael Cashman, MEP, co-president of the Intergroup of LGBT rights, added: ‘Behind the smokescreen of “traditional values”, Russian authorities turn increasingly authoritarian, limiting freedom of expression and violating human rights—not only against LGBT people, but against all minorities.
‘In this worrying context, we’ll ask the Commission and the [European External Action Service] what they’ve done to stand straight up for human rights.’
During the debate tomorrow, the MEPs will be discussing the legal and social situation of non-governmental organizations - mainly charities - that are working to end human rights abuses in Russia.
According to the LGBT Intergroup, nine Russian organizations are under legal charges, 18 have received official orders to ‘eliminate violations’ by registering as ‘foreign agents’ and 53 have received ‘warnings’ not to violate the law.