Putin Bans Protests: Global Response Called

SochiThe IOC has confirmed that any out-gay Olympians at Sochi could be punished, according to Andre Banks, Executive Director and Co-Founder of All Out.

He was responding to the latest developments surrounding the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. He said,

“Today Putin announced a harsh 4 month long crackdown on free speech in Sochi from January 2014 – March 2014. And yesterday, the IOC announced they are willing to let the Olympics move forward with Russia’s anti-gay laws intact.

By standing by as Putin continues to attack basic human rights for both gay and straight Russians, the IOC is not respecting its own principles. What’s worse, our contact at the IOC confirmed that Olympians who do choose to show solidarity with Russians suffering under this crackdown could be punished themselves.

All Out is seriously concerned for the safety and dignity of Russians and Olympians at the 2014 Winter Olympics. This is far from over and we intend to escalate pressure on IOC members in the run up to their international meeting next month.”

All Out called for a Global Speak Out on September 3 in response to the crackdown on human rights in Russia.

Events are being planned around the world and will be listed on All Out’s website (allout.org) as details become available.

UPDATE: Australia has apparently been making behind-the-scenes representations to the Russians condemning Putin’s laws. 

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)