Tuesday, 17 May 2011

In Russia, for IDAHO, activists catalogue hate speech, Moscow Pride banned

Source: GayRussia.ru

In Russia, gay activists mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), 17 May, by publishing a list of homophobic statements. Since 2005, activists carefully documented any hate speech against LGBT people made by politicians, officials, public figures, as well as anti-gay initiatives taken by regional and federal authorities.

The catalogue also lists 100 Russian judges from the lowest to the highest Courts, including those from the Constitutional Court, who gave decisions against the rights of gays and lesbians enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights in the last years.

The list published today on GayRussia.Ru is a joint work by the LGBT Human Rights Project GayRussia and Article 282, a group campaigning against hate speech towards sexual minorities and named after the article of the criminal code which criminalize hate speech against social groups. To date, no Russian Court ever accepted a complaint by LGBT citizen on the basis of this article refusing to consider gays or lesbians as part of a social group.

The 'Archives of Russian Homophobia' contain public statements made by 487 politicians, officials and public figures, 100 judges, 19 governments and 40 parties, movements and organizations. The plan is to constantly update this list in the future as part of an ongoing monitoring.

Among others, the database lists statements made by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov but also the ruling party United Russia, the Communist Party, the office of the General Prosecutor and the Ministry of Defense.

Speaking from Moscow on behalf of GayRussia Nikolai Alekseev said:
“We mark today the 6th anniversary of GayRussia by publishing the list of homophobic statements we have collected since 2005."

“Simultaneously to the publication of the list, we have written to Catherine Ashton [the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union] but also to the President of the EU Parliament and the LGBT intergroup of the European Parliament asking them to consider a visa ban on those who do not respect the international convention ratified by Russia."
“The visa ban is a very effective remedy against Russian personalities who like to travel all across Europe."
"Homophobia and transphobia do exist in all the levels of the public life in Russia and if we do not try to stop it, the rolling effect can create irreversible consequences in this country.”
Speaking from Moscow on behalf of Article 282, Nikolai Baev said:
“Often, when you think about notorious Russian homophobes, the former Mayor of Moscow is the name which everyone can think of, but he is like the tree hiding the forest."

"Homophobia in Russian politics is widespread and hits all the political movements without exception, from far left to far right."

"It is very common for government officials and politicians to consider gays, lesbians and transgender people as monsters, degenerates, criminals, immoral and mentally ill.”
The Moscow City Hall said 17 May that the Moscow Gay Pride Rally scheduled for May 28 on Bolotnaya Square in front of the Office of the European Commission will be banned.

The motives given by the Ludmila Shvetsova, deputy mayor of Moscow, to ban the event is the impossibility to provide security and a high number of letters of protests received by the City Hall against this event.

Nikolai Alekseev, Moscow Pride Chief Organizer, said:
"The reasons to ban the Moscow Pride this year are exactly the same reasons used in the past years and for which the European Court of Human Rights judged against Russia for violating the European Convention on Human Rights"

"Russia decided to mark the Day Against Homophobia by showing once again its homophobic policy towards LGBT citizens"

"We will apply today to the Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to hold our Gay Pride March next to Kremlin, an area which solely depend of his jurisdiction"

"The ban does not change anything to our intention to hold our rally as planned"

"Whatever happens on May 28 will be put on the illegal and irresponsible decision taken today by the Moscow City Hall"

"Today, we understood that former homophobic Mayor Luzhkov has a successor at the City Hall"

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