ECOM’s position paper regarding the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to recognize the LGBT movement as “extremist” and to prohibit its activities in the country.
On Thursday, November 30, behind closed doors, the Supreme Court of Russia reviewed an administrative claim submitted by the Ministry of Justice and officially recognized
the international LGBT movement as an “extremist organization”, and prohibited its activities in the country.
ECOM - The Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity believes that this decision not only threatens the freedoms of association, expression and peaceful assembly, but also violates the right to be free from discrimination. The prohibition on LGBT people expressing their opinions and speaking about their identity in Russia raises serious concerns about human rights and the freedom of speech in the country. It leads to an affirmation of discriminatory practices in society that contradict the basic principles of freedom and equality.
This decision represents a new level of attacks on LGBT people in Russia and will lead to catastrophic consequences for the LGBT community.
It is highly likely that this decision will lead to the persecution of LGBT community activists and organizations, including those involved in the provision of health services. It may also complicate the work of lawyers and human rights defenders working to protect the rights of the LGBT community.
There is no doubt that the decision will provoke a new surge of violence against LGBT people or people who are suspected of belonging to the LGBT community across Russia.
The Supreme Court's decision could also create obstacles to the response to the HIV epidemic that continues to spread among gay and transgender people in Russia, resulting in restrictions on access to appropriate resources and services for LGBT people living with HIV. HIV prevention programs that work directly with the country's LGBT community may be particularly affected. All this may further aggravate the situation with the increase in new HIV cases and the hidden spread of the epidemic.
The Supreme Court's decision to declare the "international LGBT community movement" as extremist puts at risk not only activists and members of the community, but also those who support the LGBT community, and even those who may be considered as LGBT people due to their appearance or behaviour.
- ECOM condemns this decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and calls on the Russian authorities to reconsider this decision.
- ECOM calls on the international community to express solidarity and support for LGBT people and allies in Russia.
- Prohibition of the LGBT movement poses a threat to freedom and equality and undermines the values on which modern society is built. We insist on the urgent need to end these oppressive actions and defend the principles of equality, freedom and justice for all.