The council of Europe demanded that Russia’s LGBT community would be guaranteed the right of expression and demonstrations, as the country continues to clamp down on gay events and rights.
In a press conference held in Moscow today (22 May) Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe (CoE) delivered a stern message to Russia regarding gay rights.
He said: ‘Authorities have an obligation also to (ensure) that LGBT people can express their views and (hold) demonstrations.
‘This is a fundamental principle in the European Convention on Human Rights,’ of which Russia is a signatory, he said.
Yesterday (21 May) the Russian Orthodox church leader Patriarch Kirill told Jagland that his Church must remind people that homosexuality is a ‘sin before God’.
Moscow authorities also rejected two requests this week by LGBT activists to hold rallies related to Moscow Pride, despite a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling against Russia that demanded the ban be lifted.
Speaking with Gay Star News, co-founder of Moscow Pride and GayRussia.ru, Nikolai Alekseev said: ‘Russia does not respect its international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, nor the ruling of ECHR.
‘We’ve tried to adapt and accommodate to the Russian authorities, to get permission for Moscow Pride due this weekend (25 May) in several different options; We asked for it to be approved as a march, a picket, a rally, we applied for permission in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, and even in a wooded area outside Moscow city center called Hyde Park.
‘All these requests were turned down and or discredited.
‘There are two court cases, one in Moscow, the other in Khimki, pending before the planned event, and I hope they can rule in favor so that we can go ahead.
‘If they don’t, we would have exhausted all avenues before the planned date and we’ll just have run Moscow Pride for the the 8th consecutive year without official permission.
‘Russia should be threatened with expulsion from the CoE if they don’t respect the treaties they signed and the human rights values it espouses, nor the verdicts of the European Court of Human Rights or its jurisprudence.
‘Furthermore, the European Union should put pressure on economic agreements with Russia so that improves its records and actions concerning human rights or LGBT rights.’
Russia’s LGBT community faces increasing clampdown on their freedom of expression and assembly as well as rising violence, while Russian lawmakers consider passing a nationwide law banning gay ‘propaganda’.
During the IDAHO a gay rally in St. Petersburg was aggressed with violence, including smoke bombs and was made to disperse by the police.
Recently, a 23-year-old man in the southern city of Volgograd was tortured and killed after revealing he was gay.