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Crowe calls on Russian authorities to end persecution of LGBT citizens

16 July, 2013 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin's Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, has criticised the Russian government for introducing a so-called gay ‘propaganda’ law, which introduces hefty fines for anyone who distributes information on alleged “non-traditional sexual relationships”.

The new legislation has also led to the arrest and persecution of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people, most notably at St. Petersburg’s recent Pride March. An open letter has been written by Irish civil society groups, calling on the Russian authorities to end its persecution of LGBT people.

Speaking after signing the letter on behalf of Sinn Féin, Deputy Crowe said:

“I, along with other concerned Irish citizens and politicians, have signed an open letter strongly urging the Russian authorities to end its persecution of LGBT people.

“It also calls on the authorities to focus on upholding the right of LGBT citizens, and their supporters, to freedom of expression, assembly, and protection from homophobic violence.

“The letter will be delivered and handed over to the Russia Embassy in Dublin this evening.

“The Russian government has tried to justify this draconian legislation by stating that it will protect minors. This is completely misguided and based on the incorrect premise that someone’s sexuality can be taught.

“This legislation is extremely broad and effectively prohibits the distribution of any information which deals with LGBT rights in a positive or even neutral light.

“It is a clear breach of a person’s right to freely express their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as the freedom to seek, receive and impart information on issues related to sexual orientation or gender identity.

“This new law is incompatible with rulings made by the European Court of Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee and international human rights standards.

“I am calling on the Russian authorities to review this oppressive legislation and to uphold the human rights of all their citizens and especially those of vulnerable or minority groups, like LGBT citizens.”

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