Speaking ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi that begin this week, Lousewies van der Laan, Vice President of the ALDE Party said: “the world’s media attention will be on Russia for the next two weeks yet unfortunately the world’s attention is not equally on the ever deteriorating situation of fundamental human rights. Members of sexual minorities have been facing increasing discrimination and violence over the past months.”
“European Liberals welcome the news that corporations such as AT&T and prominent public figures such as liberal EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes have publically taken a stand condemning the anti-LGBT law in Russia, thereby setting a strong example that should be followed by other Olympic sponsors.”
“Major international sporting events will be hosted in the coming years by countries with questionable human rights records, it will be the duty of the international community as a whole to use these occasions to raise these issues and highlight the discrimination of minorities in such countries,” she continued.
“European Liberals will remain vigilant to ensure that Russia - a signatory to the Olympic Charter and a member of the Council of Europe - will not get away with promoting hatred. The linking of homosexuality and child abuse by President Putin is especially reprehensible.”