Sochi Winter Olympics: IOC's stance is 'affront' to gay and lesbian rights

‘This is an affront to gay and lesbian athletes and spectators’ - Sergei Nikitin

Amnesty International has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to see the detrimental effect that Russia’s discriminatory legislation will have on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.  

Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director Sergei Nikitin said:

“This is an affront to gay and lesbian athletes and spectators. It is also a disappointment to sports fans across the world who care about the Olympic ideal.
 
“The fact that the IOC has satisfied itself with Russian officials’ assurances of non-discrimination is not enough. It disregards the fact that Russian law effectively prohibits people from public expression of ‘non-traditional’ sexual orientation.

“The IOC could have used its influence with the Russian authorities in the run-up to the Olympics to make sure that the Games are not tarnished by human rights abuses. Sadly, they appear to be missing this opportunity.
 
“Russia’s law banning propaganda of ‘non-traditional sexual relations’ among minors is clearly discriminatory and in this it violates international law and runs counter to the Olympic Charter.

“Moreover, the introduction of the law creates an atmosphere in Russia that has already encouraged brutal crimes against people only because of their real or perceived sexual orientation.”
 

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