by Will Kohler
Human Rights Watch has released a disturbing video detailing many of the violent criminal exploits of Russian citizens and anti-gay vigilante groups who’s hate has become empowered by Russia’s recent passage of anti-gay laws.
As the host to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which begin on February 7, 2014, in Sochi, Russia should act in accordance with the principle of nondiscrimination, a core provision of the Olympic Charter. As a member of the Council of Europe, and party to multiple human rights treaties, it should meet its obligations to provide equal respect and protection for LGBT people.
“The Russian authorities have the power to protect the rights of LGBT people, but instead they are ignoring their responsibility to do so,” said Tanya Cooper, Russia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “By turning a blind eye to hateful homophobic rhetoric and violence, Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people.”
WARNING: The video below contains graphic images and may be upsetting. It should also be seen by every American Olympic athlete who is going to Sochi thinking that their medals and competing in the Olympics is more important than human lives.