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New Zealand remains silent on Russia

Wed 7 Aug 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

UPDATE: The Queer Avengers have just announced they will hold a protest outside the Russian Embassy on Friday afternoon. We will have more details soon. A man protest's Russia's gag law As the situation rapidly deteriorates for GLBTI people living in Russia, requests for our Foreign Minister to take a public stand are going unanswered. There are reports a gay teenager has died after being kidnapped and tortured in Russia, by a neo Nazi gang which is targeting young people through the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It’s not clear whether the teenager took his own life, or died from injuries he received. There are reports the gang has harassed and tortured others, including a disabled gay teenager. There have been no ramifications from authorities. It comes as homophobia has been legalised in Russia, which has passed a law ‘promoting homosexuality’ by allowing authorities to impose hefty fines one anyone holding gay pride rallies, or giving young people information about anything LGBTI-related. Foreigners can not only be fined for anything pro-gay, but also arrested for 15 days and deported. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an official travel warning through its Safe Travel advisory site for GLBTI people travelling to Russia. However GayNZ.com Daily News has sent questions to Foreign Minister Murray McCully, which remained unanswered. They include whether New Zealand will take an official stand and condemn Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law and whether it’s concerned about gay athletes like Blake Skjellerup facing jail, fines and deportation if they breach the law. Green MP Jan Logie has written to McCully asking him to use diplomatic channels to raise concerns about Russia's crushing of LGBTI rights, and to ensure New Zealanders are safe in the nation. She is also working on a Parliamentary motion against the discriminatory laws.     

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 7th August 2013 - 1:08pm

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