PUTIN'S 'RAMPAGE AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS'
Sun, 19 August 2012President Vladimir Putin has been accused by online human rights group All Out of being behind a series of troubling attacks against LGBT rights and freedom of expression in Russia.
On Friday morning, a Moscow high court ruled against an appeal by LGBT rights activists and confirmed a 100 year ban on Pride marches by the Russian capital's city council.
It was also announced last week that anti-gay activists are using the city of St Petersburg’s "homosexual propaganda" law to sue pop singer Madonna for $10.5 million in "moral damages" because she spoke out for gay Russians during a concert.
So, far at least 75 people have been arrested under the city’s law which bans any public support for homosexuality.
All Out further cited Friday's sentencing of the punk band Pussy Riot to two years in prison for speaking out against the government and Putin in particular.
The judge mentioned "homosexual propaganda" as one reason to bring the hammer down on the three young women, two of them moms.
"Enough is enough," said All Out, which asserted that "Vladimir Putin is on a rampage against human rights".
The organisation urged people around the world to sign its petition to put pressure on the Russian president.
"In days Putin is going to be face to face with all the leaders of the world at a high profile, media packed United Nations Meeting in New York. If we move fast, we can ignite a global media firestorm that embarrasses Putin's government and gets his allies and corporate backers to push him to change course - freeing Pussy Riot and ending the crackdown against LGBT Russians," said the organisation.
"Putin's Russia is a silenced dome - the one remaining pressure point is to publicly shame him and the actions of his government in front of the leaders of every country around the world. With Pride officially banned, gays formally silenced in St. Petersburg and Pussy Riot shipped off to prison, Putin is counting on his critic's voices to fade away. He is counting on us to shut up."
All Out said that it hoped to "build the largest petition ever delivered to a world leader at the UN". A previous All Out petition against St. Petersburg's gay gag rule was signed by over 272,000 people.
Sign the petition against the crackdown on human rights and civil liberties in Russia here.