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Threats to the freedom of expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania

Written declaration No. 504 | Doc. 12848 | 25 January 2012

Mr Jonas GUNNARSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Ms Nebahat ALBAYRAK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Mörður ÁRNASON, Iceland, SOC ; Mr Lennart AXELSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Robert BIEDROŃ, Poland, NR ; Mr Eric BOCQUET, France, UEL ; Ms Bernadette BOURZAI, France, SOC ; Ms Anna Maria CARLONI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Boriss CILEVIČS, Latvia, SOC ; Ms Viola von CRAMON-TAUBADEL, Germany, SOC ; Ms Lydie ERR, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Håkon HAUGLI, Norway, SOC ; Mr Mats JOHANSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Reinette KLEVER, Netherlands, NR ; Ms Lone LOKLINDT, Denmark, ALDE ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Dirk Van der MAELEN, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Pietro MARCENARO, Italy, SOC ; Ms Federica MOGHERINI REBESANI, Italy, SOC ; Ms Cora van NIEUWENHUIZEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Danny PIETERS, Belgium, NR ; Ms Mette REISSMANN, Denmark, SOC ; Mr Ludo SANNEN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Tineke STRIK, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Björn von SYDOW, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Klaas de VRIES, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms Gisela WURM, Austria, SOC

There is now serious danger to the right to freedom of expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Russia, Ukraine and Lithuania.

In Russia two regional assemblies (Arkhangelsk and Ryazan) have adopted legislation prohibiting "propaganda of homosexuality", while in two others (St Petersburg and Kostroma) similar legislation has been tabled. There are reports that similar initiatives are under discussion for Moscow and even for the Russian Federation as a whole.

In Ukraine MPs have tabled a proposal designed “to strengthen protection from homosexual propaganda”. It would introduce criminal penalties ranging from a fine to five years' imprisonment.

In Lithuania a bill before parliament would penalise “the public denigration of constitutional moral values and the principles of family ….. and the organisation of events contradicting social morality”.

If implemented, these proposals could silence human rights defenders working for the rights of LGBT people. They conflict with the obligations of Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania under international human rights law. We call upon their governments and the members of their delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly to take strong action to oppose them.