Arrests of Russian LGBT Activists Mar Day of Sochi Opening Ceremonies

Today in St. Petersburg, Russia, four LGBT-activists, including one pregnant woman, were arrested while trying to display a banner reading "Discrimination is incompatible with the Olympic Movement. Principle 6. Olympic Charter" to support the actions held today all over the world.

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“The Russian government has claimed that there is no discrimination against LGBT people in their country but their actions today are undeniable proof that their ‘anti-propaganda’ law is being applied widely to restrict the basic rights of LGBT people and our allies,” said Ty Cobb, director of HRC’s Global Engagement program.  “Instead of allowing peaceful dissent while the world is watching, Russia is doubling down on its commitment to criminalize supporters of equality.”

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HRC is monitoring the situation in Russia and taking action to amplify the ongoing crackdown against LGBT equality supporters.  Today the organization launched a promoted tweet campaign in Russia so that journalists and other visitors have updated information on our campaigns and the devastating effects of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws.

The organization is also tracking NBC’s coverage of the games, reporting instances when they cover LGBT issues in Russia and encouraging them to devote national air-time to these critical issues.

Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a shocking video that depicts the brutal physical violence and discrimination LGBT Russians face every day, most of which goes unchecked by the government.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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