Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has called on the Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, to use this week’s Council of Europe meeting to challenge Russia over its crackdown on the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) citizens.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Council of Europe representatives will be meeting in Strasbourg this week to discuss the compliance of member states with ECHR judgements. We know that Russia’s ban on Gay Pride Parades and their failure to honour a 2010 ruling against them on the issue is on the agenda.
“Since then Russia has intensified its persecution on LGBT citizens by passing the so-called ‘Gay Propaganda’ law. Violent homophobic attacks have also increased in this repressive atmosphere.
“The Tánaiste has stated the government’s complete opposition to these laws and human rights abuses, and that is to be welcomed.
“I am now calling on the Tánaiste to put its words into action and to work with his European counterparts to challenge Russia on these human rights abuses.
“Russia clearly violated the ECHR’s judgement when it banned LGBT public expression and assembly in 2010, but since the passage of the ‘propaganda’ law it has severely attacked the human rights of its LGBT citizens.
“This is completely unacceptable and the Tánaiste really needs to stress that point this week and to ensure the Russian government are aware that Ireland will not stand idly by while LGBT people are being persecuted and their human rights violated.”