Around three hundred gay rights protesters gathered outside the Russian consulate in the Belgian city of Antwerp on Friday to protest against recently introduced anti-gay laws in Russia.
The law, signed by President Vladimir Putin, prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” and imposes fines on those organising gay pride marches.
The protest organiser, Marcia Poelman, said that “the law is so vaguely formulated that you can use the law to criminalise every expression of being gay or lesbian.” She added that it is a way to “erase homosexuality” from people’s minds and make it “invisible.”
The law has been heavily criticised internationally with many calls for protests or a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games due to be held in the Russian resort of Sochi and the World Athletics Championships in Moscow that start this weekend. The International Olympic Committee has said it wants clarification of how the law will be applied.
Jacques Rogge from the I.O.C. said: “The Olympic Charter is very clear. It says that sport is a human right and should be available to everybody regardless of race, sex or sexual orientation. The games themselves should be open for all, so our position is very clear.”
Russia has hit back at critics and played down the claims of discrimination.
“Nobody has ever got arrested for his sexual orientation here in Russia. Don’t succumb to the hysteria that perverts across Europe have started. Our highest paid-artists have a non-traditional sexual orientation and they have not faced any discrimination,” explained Vitaly Milonov, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.
Russia has made the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi a top priority for the promotion of a modern image of the country. However, with the World Athletic Championships in Moscow beginning this weekend amid protests that image appears to have been tarnished.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 23D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 3Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 4Migrant crisis: Hungary poised to shut unofficial border crossings with Croatia
- 5Syria: We believe that Russia has the wrong strategy, says US
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 10Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 11Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 12[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
- 13Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 14International news | euronews, latest international news
- 15Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 16Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 17Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 18What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 19[Live] Catalonia: separatists heading for clear win in crucial elections
- 20Israel agents ‘incite’ stone-throwing in West Bank
Latest world news
Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisia’s National Dialogue Quartet
Russia denies US claims cruise missiles malfunctioned over Iran
EU ‘could lift sanctions’ on Belarus depending on how weekend election unfolds
Deadly shooting on college campus in Arizona
‘Revenge stabbings’ as Israeli-Palestinian violence escalates
Wires > News
- 17:18 CET Five killed in Gaza as Israeli-Palestinian violence widens
- 17:11 CET Swedish minority government at risk as opposition party quits…
- 16:14 CET Afghan aid workers, civilians will bear the brunt after …
- 16:11 CET Islamic State closes in on city of Aleppo in Syrian fighting
- 16:03 CET Yazidi women and girls held by Islamic State forgotten, say…
- 16:02 CET Ukraine ex-security official doubts MH17 report will give answers
- 15:12 CET At least 15 wounded in pre-election clash in Guinea capital
- 15:07 CET German right-wing party accuses Merkel of ‘people smuggling’