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Monday, 28 November 2011 14:56

Act Now Against Russian Anti-Gay Laws

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Baltic CountriesThe Kaleidoscope Trust is urging people to join an international campaign against laws that trample on the basic human rights of LGBT people in Russia.

St Petersburg is only the latest place to propose a law that bans the promotion of ‘gay propaganda’, a move led by the governing United Russia party of Vladimir Putin. Similar legislation is already in force in the cities of Ryazan and Archangel.

The laws include heavy fines for the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality, and directly threaten the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of association for Russian LGBT people.

The Kaleidoscope Trust supports attempts to challenge those bans already in force at the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. It is urging its supporters to join an international campaign to have these challenges heard quickly in order to stop this politically motivated attack on the rights of LGBT people.

Lance Price, Director of the Kaleidoscope Trust, said, “When the promotion of homosexuality in schools was banned in Britain under Clause 28 it scarred our country until it was finally removed. The legal prohibitions in Russia go much further and are an even bigger threat. We have already raised the case in person with the Foreign Office and urged the government to use its influence and the UK's chairmanship of the Council of Europe to raise the St Petersburg case at every opportunity. We are now asking all our supporters to join an international letter writing campaign.

"Politicians in all corners of the world like to attack LGBT people to win popularity. Sadly they will only stop when their own people prove to them that that it doesn't work, and that will take time. But we can take action now to demonstrate that our rights are as valid as everybody else's and these legal challenges are a vital step."

Supporters can:

- Ask the European Court of Human Rights to give priority treatment in the case of “Bayev vs Russia (67667/09)”. Make sure you mark, the case and the number in your communication.

- Ask the UN Human Rights Committee to give priority treatment in the case of “Fedotova vs Russia (1932/2010)”. Make sure you mark, the case and the number in your communication.

- Ask your Foreign Secretary or Minister of Foreign Affairs to raise the threat to LGBT human rights with their Russian Counterparts

- If you are an EU citizen, ask Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, to inform Russia that anti-gay laws are unacceptable from a trading partner of the EU

- Ask the Council of Europe’s General Secretary to remind Russia of its obligation to honour the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that it ratified

List of contact details if you want to take any action listed above

European Court of Human Rights
By email: http://appform.echr.coe.int/echrrequest/request.aspx?lang=gb
By phone:  +33 3 88 41 20 18
By fax: +33 3 88 41 27 30
By post: European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe, 67075 Strasbourg, France

UN Human Rights Committee
By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
By phone:  +41 22 917 92 20
By post: Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Pâquis, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Thorbjorn Jagland, Council of Europe General Secretary
By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
By phone:  +32 2 584 11 11
By post: European External Action Service, 1046 Brussels, Belgium

Rt. Hon William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary
Online: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/contact-us
By phone:  020 7008 1500
By post: FCO, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AH

Baroness Catherine Ashton, Vice President of the European Commission, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
By email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
By phone:  +32 2 584 11 11
By post: European External Action Service, 1046 Brussels,  Belgium

A sample letter can be found here: http://www.gayrussia.eu/en/campaigns/model_letters.php

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