Russian Officials Commit Human Rights Violations While Denying Human Rights Are Being Violated

Jim Burroway

August 8th, 2013

Black is white, up is down, Russia’s anti-gay laws are in compliance with “international obligations”:

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry’s rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov said: “As to the criticism of our law banning homosexual propaganda we have to reiterate that this criticism is absolutely invalid and groundless”.

He added: “It is an attempt to accuse us of violating international obligations that do not exist”.

He also said that Russia is a party to a number of international conventions that prohibit discrimination on any grounds, including the UN’s convention on the Rights of the Child.

“This convention aims in part to protect children from harmful information, and we believe that promotion of homosexuality could harm them. Therefore, we are fulfilling our obligations, but our critics attempt to accuse us of violating some obligations that don’t exist. It is a misleading substitution of notions”.

Contrary to assurances from the IOC, Dolgov issued a veiled warning to athletes and visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi:

Mr Dolgov also stressed that all athletes and guests of the Olympic games in Sochi would be treated “with maximum hospitality,” but Moscow was expecting them to respect the Russian legislation, including the notorious ‘gay propaganda’ law.

…He added: “No one is banning a sportsman with a non-traditional sexual orientation from going to Sochi. But if he goes out onto the street and starts to make propaganda, then of course he will be brought to responsibility.”

And what about the athlete who wears a rainbow pin or carries a flag inside the Olympic venues? Well the New York Times yesterday suggested that the IOC and US Olympic Committee will have Russian’s back there.

Banned in Perm

Meanwhile, Russia s scrambling to clamp down on internal criticism of the Sochi Olympics. Marat Guelman was fired as director of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art and his offices were raided after he backed the controversial “Welcome! Sochi 2014” exhibit by Vasily Slonov. Perm was the site of Perm 36, one of the more infamous gulags under Joseph Stalin. And Human Rights Watch says that Russia is going after those reporting on irregularities surrounding the games’ construction projects :

Human Rights Watch has documented government efforts to intimidate several organizations and individuals who have investigated or spoken out  against abuse of migrant workers, the impact of the construction of Olympics venues and infrastructure on the environment and health of residents, and unfair compensation for people forcibly evicted from their homes. Human Rights Watch also documented how authorities harassed and pursued criminal charges against journalists, apparently in retaliation for their legitimate reporting.

“Trying to bully activists and journalists into silence is wrong and only further tarnishes the image of the Olympics,” said Jane Buchanan, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “One of the non-negotiable requirements of hosting the Olympics is to allow press freedom, and the authorities’ attempts to silence critics are in clear violation of that principle.”

Richard Rush

August 8th, 2013

“Russian Officials Commit Human Rights
Violations While Denying Human Rights Are
Being Violated”

Actually, their denial does make sense: After you have successfully completed dehumanizing gays, then, by definition, gays have no human rights. The only “human” rights belong to those conducting the government-sanctioned persecution (or perhaps pogrom is the right word).


August 8th, 2013

I think some petitions to the corporate sponsors might do the trick here.


August 8th, 2013

The only message the IOC would understand is a major decision by sponsors to withhold funds and let the members of the committee dangle by their tiny testicles.


August 8th, 2013

I guess the Russians don’t relize that gays come from straight people.
So if they would quit having children there wouldn’t be any gays.
They are going to mess things up for their country and guarentee that their country never gets the Olympic Games again.


August 9th, 2013

International obligations with which Russia is not in compliance regarding LGBTs:

Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.

Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

(Articles 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 & 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights does not yet recognise the application of Article 12, the right of adults to marry, to same-sex couples.)


August 9th, 2013

Ugh, I can’t manage to keep track of all the things various Russian officials say on this subject, contradicting one another all the time.

Mr. Dolgov’s position is no surprise; we are talking about this person after all:


August 9th, 2013

It’s not the first time a Russian official has stated that that allowing “homosexual propaganda” is not an international obligation of any kind:

For those ignorant people who believe that there is indeed such a thing as “homosexual propaganda” and it works, it makes perfect sense to believe that the children should be protected from such evil influences, so those politicians know very well what they are doing.

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