European Parliament condemns Russia’s federal censorship law

Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the “anti-propaganda” law voted in Russia’s federal Duma earlier this week.

Russian flagIn the resolution on the rule of law in Russia they adopted yesterday, Members of the European Parliament noted that “[Russian] federal authorities have done nothing to stop discriminatory legislation banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ from coming into effect in nine regions of Russia”.

It also condemned the adoption of such a law at the federal level.

The Parliament is “deeply concerned by the negative consequences of the adoption of a federal law on ‘homosexual propaganda’, which could increase discrimination and violence against LGBTI individuals”.

The Council of Europe and the High Representative of the EU also condemned Russia’s new laws, which unduly restrict free speech in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Last year the UN Human Rights Committee ruled that these laws breached the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Russia.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, said in the plenary that the laws were “part of a wider systematic crackdown on LGBTI organisations and civil society” in general. He added that “hate speech from Putin and others had resulted in the barbaric killing of gay men” recently.

“This is unacceptable and uncivilised. The EU must continue to systematically express its strongest opposition to laws that restrict freedom of expression”, especially in such a discriminatory way, he said.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Also Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “Not a month passes without Russia becoming less and less of a democracy. In addition to the propaganda law, the ‘Foreign Agents’ law also places undue pressure on NGOs.”

“Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev are the most dangerous same-sex couple in Europe these days; the EU and the Council of Europe need to up the pressure against Russia after these terrible laws are passed.”

Last week, the LGBT Intergroup hosted a seminar on these laws and how the EU should react to them.

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