European Parliament calls on Russia to authorise gay prides

Today the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the EU-Russia Summit in Nizhny Novgorod on 9-10 June 2011. The text expresses regrets that the gay pride was banned for the sixth consecutive year in Moscow, and reminds Russia of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

European Parliament logoThe Moscow Pride march of 28 May was violently stopped by police forces, Russian Orthodox activists, and skinheads who appeared to have the support of policemen. About 30 people were arrested for taking part in the march.

Russia flouted a European Court of Human Rights judgement in Alekseyev v. Russia (October 2010), forcing Russia to pay financial compensation, and enjoining the Federation to authorise future gay prides.

The resolution asks European Union diplomats, including High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, to make full use of the Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by LGBT People.

17. Regrets that, contrary to Russia’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe to uphold freedom of assembly, peaceful citizens’ gatherings continue to be banned and violently dispersed, including a gay pride march in Moscow for the sixth consecutive year, disregarding a final ruling made in April 2011 by the European Court of Human Rights; expects EU delegations and diplomats to actively implement the Toolkit to Promote and Protect the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by LGBT People in the future;

The Intergroup on LGBT Rights also sent two letters to Catherine Ashton, asking her to continue voicing concern about LGBT rights in Russia on behalf of the EU.