Amnesty International warns of “catastrophic consequences” of the ban on the LGBT movement in Russia
El Supreme Court of Russia This Thursday the movement was prohibited LGTBIQ + in the country at the request of the Ministry of Justice. The decision has been supported by considering the group as a «extremist organization«.
The news came after several human rights organizations asked the Supreme Court this Wednesday not to prohibit the activities of the queer community in the country or consider it extremist.
The main argument of these associations to defend themselves is that the International Civic LGTBI+ Movement included in the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice, in fact, "does not exist«. This Wednesday they added that carrying out the ban, which has already been approved, would be unconstitutional: "It will contradict the clauses of the Constitution that establish that Russia is a secular state«, they pointed out from the organizations.
Amnesty International warned that the ban issued this Thursday by the Supreme Court in Russia could have «catastrophic consequences«. «There is a risk of a total ban on organizations LGTBIQ +, which would lead to far-reaching violations of the rights to freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to non-discrimination", He said Marie Struthers, director of Amnesty International Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it's a statement.
The decision of the Supreme Court of Russia, according to the NGO, is «shameful and absurd» and raises the campaign of persecution of the homosexual community in this country to a new level.
«There is no doubt that this will lead to the persecution of activists LGTBIQ +, rendering decades of their brave and dedicated work worthless, while threatening to instigate and legitimize a whole new level of violence against LGBTI people across Russia"he said Struthers.
Likewise, Amnesty International called on the Russian authorities to reverse their decision and on the international community to «stand in solidarity with the homosexual community in Russia» to defend the principles of equality, freedom and justice for all.
The NGO indicated that by declaring today as «extremist" the movement LGTBIQ + en Russia, its authorities actually prohibit «any activism in favor of gay rights and even any public association linked to the community LGTBIQ +«.
Humanitarian associations ask for international support
Also the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reacted this Thursday to the measures of the authorities, which according to Tanya Lokshina, associate director for Europe and Asia, have a dual purpose: «It aims to increase scapegoating against LGBTI+ people to attract conservative Kremlin supporters ahead of the March 2024 presidential vote and, on the other hand, paralyze the work of human rights groups fighting discrimination. and support the people of the group«.
Under Russian criminal law, participating in or financing an extremist organization—as the queer community is now considered—is punishable by up to 12 years in prison. A person convicted of displaying symbols of such groups faces up to 15 days in detention for the first offense and up to four years in prison for a repeat offense. Authorities may include people suspected of being involved with an extremist organization in the «national list of extremists«, freeze their bank accounts and prohibit them from running for public office.
In this situation of social alarm, with Russian human rights organizations and activists LGTBIQ + already in danger and the risk of prosecution exacerbated by the ruling of «extremist» from the Supreme Court, countries around the world should provide safe haven to those forced to flee Russia in the face of criminal proceedings or other serious threats, it claims HRW.
Other countries, and European Union Member States in particular, given their geographical proximity, should also allow activists who continue their rights work LGTBIQ + in Russia obtain long-term visas in case of emergency or attend international events and meetings with other associations.
«The attack on LGBTI+ rights has become a symbol of Russia's rejection of universal human rights, as the Government positions Russia as a defender of so-called traditional values in opposition to the 'collective West'"he explained Lokshina. "Russian LGBT people need support now more than ever«.