World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Duma urged to scrap bill on ‘homosexuality propaganda’

UN rights experts advise Russian Duma to scrap bill on ‘homosexuality propaganda’

GENEVA (1 February 2013) – A group of United Nations independent human rights experts today called on the lower house of the Russian parliament to discard a draft bill to establish administrative penalties for “propaganda of homosexuality among minors,” which has already been approved by the State Duma.

The experts on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, cultural rights and the right to health warned the bill may undermine the enjoyment and promotion of human rights in Russia, unjustifiably singling out lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, who have increasingly become the target of sanctions and violence in the country.

“Any restriction on freedom of opinion and expression should be based on reasonable and objective criteria, which is not fulfilled by the draft bill approved during the first reading by the Duma,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue. “The law could potentially be interpreted very broadly and thereby violate not only the right to freedom of expression but also the prohibition of discrimination.”

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, warned that this legislation could be used to unduly restrict the activities of those advocating for the rights of LGBT individuals. “The draft legislation could further contribute to the already difficult environment in which these defenders operate, stigmatizing their work and making them the target of acts of intimidation and violence, as has recently happened in Moscow,” she stressed.

“We fear that such laws, in practice, will exacerbate an already difficult situation for LGBT individuals wishing to express their identity, and will hamper the organization of cultural events or dissemination of artistic creations addressing LGBT issues,” highlighted the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Farida Shaheed. She further underlined that LGBT youth would be particularly affected.

Stressing the bill’s ambiguous wording, the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, warned that “banning ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ may not only penalize those who promote sexual and reproductive health among LGBT people, but will also undermine the right of children to access health-related information in order to safeguard their physical and mental health.” Far from protecting children, the proposed law would potentially harm them by re-enforcing stigma and contributing to a discriminatory environment, which would put them at increased risk.

Pointing out that the “window of opportunity is still open” to reverse the decision during the next two readings at the Duma, the UN experts urged parliamentarians to “exercise leadership by scrapping the bill to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Russia.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The French Election Result

Macron is shaping as the third major test case, after Bill Clinton, after Tony Blair – on whether the aim of ‘progressive social policy’ and realities of ‘neo-liberal economic settings’ can be made to credibly co-exist within the same sentence, let alone within the decrees from the Elysee Palace. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Snap Election In Britain

The election call is entirely opportunistic and self-serving and will – regardless of the outcome – put Britain in a worse negotiating position for managing its Brexit. More>>

Turkey: Observers Say Erdogan’s Constitutional Referendum Flawed

Lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms created unlevel playing field in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, international observers say. More>>

ALSO:

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news