Saturday, July 20, 2013

International Olympic Committee Warns Russia

"The International Olympic Committee is clear that sport is a human right and should be available to all regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation," the statement said. "The Games themselves should be open to all, free of discrimination, and that applies to spectators, officials, media and of course athletes. We would oppose in the strongest terms any move that would jeopardize this principle.” 
The winter Olympic games, which are set to take place in Sochi, Russia in 2014, has been the topic of much contention since the Kremlin passed a law last month prohibiting the distribution of “homosexual propaganda” to minors. 
While the legal definition of “propaganda” remains unclear, there have been several instances of arrest and lawsuit that have helped to carve some of the law’s far-reaching boundaries. 
Reports of arrest for kissing or hold hands, wearing or using rainbows, or pro-gay activism have helped to clarify the definition of “propaganda” as “any statement, oral or otherwise, that is pro-gay.”
With violence against homosexuals on the rise in Russia, a coalition of Russian LGBT rights groups—Russian LGBT Network, LGBT Organization Coming Out, and the Alliance of Straights for LGBT Equality—is warning of “impending tragedy.” 
The group said that the most recent episodes of violence “confirmed the apprehensions of many human rights defenders that Russia’s newly-enacted homophobic legislation would spur a growth in violence and incite action from neo-Nazi groups,” adding that those who are committing the violence can do so because they are aware of their impunity to the law.

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