Enhedslisten: Prince Frederik should condemn Russia’s anti-gay law

Party urges IOC member Crown Prince Frederik to make a public stand if gay tourists are arrested or harrassed at next year’s Winter Olympics

The pop-up series 'Clothes make the man – Africa in Denmark' will be appearing all over the city (photo: Morten Vest)
August 1st, 2013 7:55 pm| by admin
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Crown Prince Frederik should condemn Russia if it enforces its anti-gay legislation during nest year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, far-left party Enhedslisten said today.

Russia passed a law in June outlawing “homosexual propaganda” that targets minors. The vague law effectively outlaws the public support of homosexuality and makes it punishable with 15 days of prison and a fine of up to 170,000 kroner.

Crown Prince Frederik is an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, and according to Berlingske newspaper, the organisation was initially given a guarantee that the law would not be enforced during the Winter Olympics that start in March 2014.

But a recent statement by the law’s initiator, MP Vitaly Milonov, suggests this guarantee may not stand.

“If a law has been approved by the federal legislature and signed by the president, then the government has no right to suspend it,” Milonov told the Interfax news agency. “It doesn’t have the authority.”

Homosexual tourists and spectators have every reason to be concerned that the law will be enforced. In July, a Dutch couple were arrested in the Russian city of Murmansk, which they had visited to make a film about its gay community.

Enhedslisten argues that Crown Prince Frederik should use his position to publicly condemn the Russian authorities if they also choose to enforce the law at the Winter Olympics.

“The Danish IOC member, Crown Prince Frederik, needs to publicly distance himself from the acts of the Russian authorities if they choose to jail homosexual participants or spectators,” Enhedslisten spokesperson Jørgen Arbo-Bæhr said in a press release. He added that Russia's law clearly breaks international conventions on human rights.

Arbo-Bæhr has sent an official question to the sport and culture minister, Marianne Jelved (Radikale), asking what she will do to protect homosexual participants and spectators from being arrested or harassed because of the laws during the Games.

LGBT activists in Russia often face harassment, intimidation and violence, and last year Moscow courts banned Gay Pride marches in the city for 100 years.

Deputy chairman of the Socialdemokraterne, Mogens Jensen, argues that the government should bring up the issue at the next meeting of the Council of Europe where Russia is also represented.

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