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Wed Jun 13, 2018, 05:41 AM

Opinion Gay rights abuses, war crimes and World Cup fever - it's an ugly mix

Iím in Moscow trying to lie low and evade the Russian security service the FSB. Iím exhausted from the stress. Itís my sixth time in the country; each time Iíve visited in order to support LGBT+ campaigners who were attempting to hold a Pride parade and festival. On every occasion, these were suppressed by the authorities, sometimes violently. Iíve been arrested twice and once been beaten almost unconscious.

This time Iím here for the World Cup Ė but unlike thousands of fans I wonít be cheering on this festival of football. There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like that of Vladimir Putin. LGBT+ people and many other Russians suffer state-sanctioned persecution and far right violence. These abuses need to be challenged Ė that is why I am in Moscow.
Iím not here to tell Russians what to do. Iím supporting Russian LGBT+ advocates and other human rights defenders. They want President Putin to uphold Russiaís constitution and its international human rights obligations, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, which Russia signed and pledged to uphold. I am fearful of arrest and violent attack but undeterred. Inspired by the campaigning and heroism of Russian LGBT+s, Iím acting in solidarity with their battle for equal human rights.

Russia should not be allowed to bask in World Cup glory while abusing LGBT+ people and committing war crimes in Syria, the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.


2018 - Normalising persecution the world over...

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Reply Opinion Gay rights abuses, war crimes and World Cup fever - it's an ugly mix (Original post)
Soph0571 Jun 2018 OP
Behind the Aegis Jun 2018 #1
Ron Obvious Jun 2018 #2

Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 11:34 AM

1. It is disgusting, but it's SPORTS!

So, many turn a blind eye, makes excuses, or completely engage in the defense of Russia, especially once GLBT issues are mentioned.

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Response to Soph0571 (Original post)

Wed Jun 13, 2018, 11:48 AM

2. I'd save my energy for overturning the Qatar decision at this point

Every possible reason you can advance as to why Russia should not have been awarded the WC, and there are a lot of them, is at least an order of magnitude worse in Qatar. Additionally, Qatar is a tiny country with zero footballing history and murderous, scorching summer temperatures. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of third-world migrant workers have literally already died building the damn stadiums which are to be dismantled right after the cup.

The World cup has been held in countries with odious regimes before (Argentina '78, Italy '38), but awarding it to Qatar in 2022 is literally the most corrupt, moronic decision in world football.

Unlike Russia, there's still time to reverse that decision, though I hold out no hope that it will be.

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