President Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin, who has backed the oppression of LGBT people in Russia, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
A Russian group, International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, has nominated the homophobic president for the award.
The nomination relates to his efforts in averting an American military strike against Syria by helping to broker an agreement in which the Syrian government will hand over its chemical weapons to the UN.
It’s unclear, however, how Putin’s anti-gay stance and disregard for human rights and personal freedoms will affect his chances of actually winning the prize.
Putin has been dubbed the ‘czar of homophobia’ for signing laws banning “gay propaganda” and blocking foreign gay couples from adopting Russian orphans.
The laws have been blamed for fuelling intolerance in the country that has led to a spike in attacks against LGBT people.
He has also been accused of broadly restricting freedom of expression in Russia.
Last week, outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili slammed Putin at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, leading Russian representatives to walk out.
“It makes me sick when KGB officer Vladimir Putin lectures the world about freedom, values and democracy. This is the least of the things he can do to the world being the dictatorial leader of one of the last empires left,” Saakashvili said.
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Saakashvili accused Putin of using anti-gay sentiment to secure influence in the former Soviet Union.
“So what he’s telling them: ‘OK, Europe is promising you much more, it’s a better market, they might give you subsidies, they might give you lots of new opportunities and openings. But what you should know is Europe is all about gay rights. If you go to Europe, your family values will be undermined, your traditions will be destroyed. So we as Orthodox unity, we should stick together,’” Saakashvili said.