Russia’s ban on LGBTQ rallies violates rights, European court rules

/ Source: Associated Press

PARIS — The European Court of Human Rights issued a fresh rebuke to the Kremlin on Tuesday, ruling that Russia’s continued ban on LGBTQ rallies is discriminatory and represents a violation of human rights.

Judges at the court based in the eastern French city of Strasbourg called on Moscow to introduce “systemic measures” to remedy the breaches to the European Convention of Human Rights that the Russian Federation became a signatory to in 1996.

Image: A demonstrator is detained by police during the LGBT rally in central St. Petersburg
A demonstrator is detained by police during the LGBTQ rally in central St. Petersburg, Russia, on Aug. 4, 2018.Sergey Konkov / Reuters

It’s unlikely Russia will implement the court’s recommendation of the need for “a sustained and long-term effort to adopt general measures” to ease the freedom to march and counter LGBTQ discrimination.

The current case was brought by seven Russian activists over the period 2009-2014 who were concerned by the impact of the ban. Russian authorities have been putting obstacles on LGBTQ rallies for years, and systematically turning down LGBTQ permit requests.

The court said Russia’s blocking of public LGBTQ events couldn’t be justified by any concern about public disorder and it breached the right to freedom of assembly.

The ban “had clearly been motivated by the authorities’ disapproval of the theme of the demonstrations,” the court concluded.

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