MEPs ask Commission for action as situation LGBT people in Russia worsens
Yesterday, six Members of the European Parliament asked the Commission in a written question how it will keep pressure on Russia to respect the rights of LGBT persons and other minorities.
The question comes shortly after a court in St. Petersburg ruled Russian LGBT rights group Coming Out to be a “foreign agent,” which subjects the organisation to extra government control, and certain measures that limit its capability to work.
Written parliamentary question to the European Commission by:
- Sophie in ‘t Veld MEP (Netherlands, ALDE)
- Ulrike Lunacek MEP (Austria, Greens/EFA)
- Daniele Viotti MEP (Italy, S&D)
- Tanja Fajon MEP (Slovenia, S&D)
- Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland, EPP)
- Dennis de Jong MEP (Netherlands, GUE/NGL)
While we are well aware of the increased political and security tensions between Russia and the EU, respect for human rights should not be overlooked.
We are deeply concerned by the fact that Russian authorities have recently further restricted freedom of expression, assembly and association through the sharpening of the Federal Law on NGOs and the ‘Foreign Agents’ law, respectively in February and June 2014.
Meanwhile, the ‘anti-propaganda’ law remains in full force and a bill seeking to terminate parental rights of same-sex couples raising children was withdrawn for revision in October 2013, but may be re-tabled any moment.
In what terms were the rights of LGBT persons discussed at the EU-Russia summit in January 2014?
Now that visa negotiations with Russia have been halted in light of the events in Ukraine, and further sanctions are discussed after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, how does the Commission maintain pressure on Russia to repeal the discriminatory laws and practices, and prevent future negative developments?