European Parliament gravely concerned over situation LGBTI people in Crimea

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Last Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea and the severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The resolution starts out by strongly condemning “the unprecedented levels of human rights abuses perpetrated against Crimean residents” (paragraph 2) following the Russian annexation.

Zooming in on LGBTI rights, the resolution “[e]xpresses its grave concern regarding the situation of LGBTI people in Crimea” and adds that this has “substantially worsened” following the occupation.

It highlights furthermore, that the Parliament is alarmed about “repressive action and threats by the de facto authorities and paramilitary groups” (paragraph 17).

All LGBTI organisations and facilities in Crimea have had to cease their activities, due to the Russian federal law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ as well as repression and threats from occupation authorities and paramilitary groups.

Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, reacted: “I am deeply concerned about the situation for LGBTI people in Crimea. With homophobic rhetoric coming from the highest levels, and violence going completely unpunished, it is no wonder that many see no other option than leaving the peninsula.”

“As an occupying power, Russia has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the whole population, including LGBTI people. I call on the EU Member States, the European Commission and the Council of Europe to maintain pressure on Russian authorities.”

Fabio-Massimo Castaldo MEP, also Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “The Parliament has emphasized the importance of ensuring the human rights of the whole population, including LGBTI people.”

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