Home » Moscow bans the LGBT movement, branding it as “extremist”: serious human rights violations are now feared

Moscow bans the LGBT movement, branding it as “extremist”: serious human rights violations are now feared

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Moscow bans the LGBT movement, branding it as “extremist”: serious human rights violations are now feared

Putin’s regime has once again trampled on the rights of sexual minorities in Russia. This time with a measure that raises fears of a cruel tightening of repression. Moscow has in fact branded the “international LGBT public movement” as “extremist”, and it did so with a document with deliberately nebulous outlines for which many now fear arrests and criminal proceedings for anyone who defends the rights of the LGBT community and a total ban on any activity in support of sexual minorities.

The initiative came from the Russian Ministry of Justice, which a couple of weeks ago made grotesque accusations of “incitement to social and religious discord” against what it calls the “international LGBT public movement”. The Russian Supreme Court gave its green light in record time: and in the early afternoon of today, after a closed-door hearing that lasted just four hours, the government’s request had already been approved.

Rights violations and populism
The UN harshly criticized the ruling – which in theory could make even waving a rainbow flag illegal – and so did the main international organizations for the defense of human rights. The Kremlin remains vague, saying it knows nothing and has not followed the matter. But it seems at least unlikely that the Russian executive will move without Putin’s consent. And furthermore, in recent years it has been the Kremlin itself that has tried to present itself both in Russia and abroad as the defender of alleged “traditional values” in contrast with “Western” ones, and it has done so against the backdrop of initiatives that in reality often turned out to be violations of human rights. The new provision also comes a few months before the Russian presidential elections scheduled for March, and according to some analysts it could be a populist move in view of the vote at a time when relations between Moscow and the West are particularly tense due to the war unleashed by Putin in Ukraine.

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Amnesty International: “Catastrophic consequences”
The Kremlin is increasingly tightening its repression of dissent and in recent years has already used the label of “extremist” to unjustly lash out against opponents and political organizations or for the defense of human rights. Even the organizations of Alexey Navalny, Putin’s number one rival imprisoned for political reasons, have been defined as “extremist”. And now the regime is using the same defamatory label to target those who defend the rights of sexual minorities.

«This shameful and absurd decision represents a new front in the Russian authorities’ campaign against the LGBTI community», denounced Amnesty International, according to which «the repercussions are destined to be nothing short of catastrophic» because «the sentence risks leading to a ban total” in Russia “of LGBTI organizations with extensive violations of the rights to freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly, as well as the right to freedom from discrimination”.

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