Irish Government must respond to anti-gay laws in Russia

The human rights situation in Russia for LGBT people is deteriorating. GLEN have written to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamonn Gilmore TD., to urge him to respond on behalf of the Government and the Irish people, and to make clear to both Ireland and the rest of the world the measures it intends to take against the new repressive legislation.

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“We call on the Irish Government to condemn the new Russian laws in the strongest possible terms and send a clear message to Russia and to the world that Ireland believes them to be an affront to human rights and human dignity” said Kieran Rose, GLEN Chair.

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“Since Vladimir Putin was re-elected President of Russia there has been a powerful crackdown on human rights and civil society groups. New laws are being supplemented by harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and civil society representatives and organisations. In particular, laws have been passed attacking the rights of LGBT people, which are being accompanied by public rhetoric demonising LGBT people leading to brutal assaults by hate groups.” said Rose.

“These new laws represent a serious attack on human rights and civil society in Europe.

They send out the clear message from the Russian government and parliament that intolerance of others is acceptable and that human rights are not inviolable but rather are political notions which can be rowed back when it is politically advantageous to do so. This cannot be allowed to stand” continued Rose.Protests are being organised in Dublin this week by the Irish campaign group Action For Russia.: one at the Dáil on Tuesday evening and one at the Russian Embassy next Sunday.

At the international level a new campaign, “Keep Hope Alive” is calling on world leaders to challenge the Russian government on the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia at this week’s G20 conference. The G20 conference is taking place in Russia in St Petersburg on the 5th and 6th of September.

Ireland, while not a member of the G20, has a very significant role to play in ensuring that the EU seriously addresses these violations of the most basic international human rights obligations and democratic principles We call on the Irish government to prioritise addressing these developments including at the EU, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Human Rights Council, where Ireland is currently a member” concluded Rose.

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