The UN Secretary General has condemned sexual discrimination and attacks on homosexuals in comments that have echoed widespread concerns about Russia’s “gay propaganda” laws.
Ban Ki-moon made no direct reference to gay rights in Russia but he told the International Olympic Committee there must be greater tolerance for all.
“We must all raise our voices against attacks on lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender or intersex people. We must oppose the arrest, imprisonment and discriminatory restrictions they face,” he said.
Russia has come under heavy criticism over the law banning “gay propaganda” among minors because critics say it curtails the rights of homosexuals and discriminates against them.
But Putin, who signed the law last summer, says it is intended to protect minors and that homosexuals will not be discriminated against during the Sochi Olympics.