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PACE General Rapporteurs condemn decision to label the LGBTI movement in Russia as ‘extremist’


The PACE General Rapporteur on human rights defenders and whistle-blowers, Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), and PACE General Rapporteur on the rights of LGBTI people, Christophe Lacroix (Belgium, SOC), have condemned today’s decision of the Russian Supreme Court to outlaw the “international LGBT movement” as extremist.

“This judicial decision is the result of legal proceedings lodged by the Russian Ministry of Justice, in another effort by the Russian government to target LGBTI rights in the country. We are deeply concerned about the impact this will have on LGBTI people living in Russia,” said Mr Zingeris and Mr Lacroix.

“Labelling an organisation as ‘extremist’ entails severe consequences for those involved in its activities – including lengthy prison sentences. It would also lead to a ban on the symbols of the organisation.

This decision does not come as a surprise, as it is part of a longstanding trend to curtail LGBTI rights in the country. It represents more than simply a restriction of freedom of expression and freedom of association. It is the complete suppression of a social group from the public space, which will have irreversible consequences for a whole generation of people living in Russia.

We strongly condemn this misuse of power to constrain political and civil rights and urge the Russian authorities to reverse the shameful trend of targeting the LGBTI community.”