Strasbourg, 12 June 2013 - “The Upper House of the Russian Parliament should not approve the draft law prohibiting the ‘propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations’ among minors,” said Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in a statement today. “This law clearly affects some of the most important principles in the European Convention of Human Rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.“
“I have previously expressed my concern with regard to this legislation in a letter to the Speaker of the Duma. The majority does not have the right to adopt legislation that clearly discriminates minorities. On the contrary, the majority has the duty to protect the right of minorities. Public opinion may favour it, but this does not justify a law which will legalise prejudice.”
"Unfortunately, this initiative fits into a broader pattern in Europe, where vulnerable groups and minorities are attacked, and this fuels extremism and violence,” added Secretary General Jagland.