Sochi Olympics: Amnesty UK director to deliver global petition to President Putin in Moscow
With one week to go until the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Amnesty International UK’s director Kate Allen will visit Moscow to deliver a petition of hundreds of thousands of signatures calling for an end to President Putin’s crackdown on human rights.
Kate Allen will join directors of eight other European Amnesty offices on Thursday 30 January to hand in over 200,000 signatures to the Russian President’s office, demanding the repeal of repressive new laws. These have seen gay rights trampled, NGOs silenced and peaceful protestors imprisoned. All directors are available for interview.
Just before the hand in, a lone dancer will perform a ‘ballet protest’ in Moscow’s Yauzskie Vorota Square to symbolise the suppression of freedom of speech, expression and association in Russia today. Photographers are invited to attend.
Kate Allen said:
“The message to President Putin, from rank and file Amnesty International supporters to world leaders staying away from the Games, is the same – repeal series of laws that restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.
“These laws suppress creativity and the development of civil society and undermine the legitimate role of human rights activists in Russia.
“Freedom of expression is vital for a functioning healthy society. The Russian authorities cannot be allowed to use the Sochi Olympic Games to gloss over its appalling human rights record.”
What: Ballerina dances in a “one-person protest” against repression of free speech in Russia.
Where: Yauzskie Vorota Square (park), Moscow. Closest Metro station: Kitay-Gorod; parking available.
When: Thursday 30 January, 13.00 sharp Moscow time (09.00 GMT). The ballerina stunt will last for 3 min.
Following the ballet protest, Amnesty directors will walk to the Presidential Administration Office at 23 Ilyinka Street, Moscow, 103132 where they will deliver the petition at around 13.45 Moscow time (09.45 GMT).