MEPs to Federica Mogherini: Russia must protect its LGBTI citizens
On 7 August 2018, 16 year old Maxim Nederov was condemned for “homosexual propaganda” in Russia. LGBTI Intergroup co-chair Daniele Viotti and vice-president Sophie in’t Veld write to Federica Mogherini to enquire about EU’s follow-up on Russia’s commitment to protect its own LGBTI citizens.
To: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Security Policy
Concerns: Russia’s obligation to protection its own LGBTI citizens
Brussels, 8 August 2018
Honourable High Representative, Dear Federica,
We have been informed that yesterday (7 August) Maxim Neverov, a 16 year old schoolboy, was found guilty of “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” in Russia. He was fined 50 000 rubles for publishing pictures in the social network “VKontakte”.
Since it has been passed in 2013, the Russian federal law “for the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values” is used to blatantly violate freedom of expression, making it increasingly difficult for LGBTI individuals to exist without fearing repression and violence. While this law is not new, the condemnation of Maxim Neverov takes place in a context of increasing violence against LGBTI people in Russia, in light of the ongoing persecution of LGBTI people in Chechnya since 2017, and for which Russia has taken no concrete steps towards transparent investigation, let alone reparation for victims.
You have spoken yourself against these persecutions when they were first brought to the public eye in April 2017. In a press conference on 19 April 2017, in presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, you expressed the expectation that “the Russian Federation does its part to protect its own citizens in full respect of human rights principles”. Indeed, as a member of the Council of Europe, Russia has human rights obligations that are continuously violated.
We would therefore like to ask what concrete steps you are taking to follow-up on the expectation on Russia to protect its own LGBTI citizens.
On behalf of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBTI Rights,
Daniele Viotti MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup
Sophie in ’t Veld MEP, Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup