Amnesty International has voiced disappointment and frustration at the International Olympics committee’s (IOC’s) stance over the anti gay laws in Russia and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, following its declaration that the Russians’ assurance that gay and lesbian participants will not face discrimination is acceptable.
“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,” said Sergei Nikitin, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director.
“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. 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 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.”