The Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement today, to coincide with the opening of an anti-discrimination conference in St Petersburg:
“I am deeply concerned by the latest legislation targeting sexual minorities and by the homophobia that is so prevalent in Russia. It is the duty of a state to protect all of its citizens from oppression, hostility and discrimination. The conference starting today sends a clear message of opposition to intolerance.
Russia has signed the European Convention on Human Rights and must now adhere to its terms. I urge the Russian authorities to repeal the laws that contravene the Human Rights Convention without delay. The Russian Government must actively combat hatred and intolerance.
The German Government will continue to work actively around the world to combat exclusion of and discrimination against sexual minorities.”
A conference entitled “The Importance of Non-discrimination Policies in the Russian Federation – Challenges and Perspectives” is taking place in St Petersburg on 26 and 27 October. One of the issues it will be examining is discrimination against sexual minorities. Discrimination against sexual minorities is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Russian constitution.
The Conference has been organized by the Russian LGBT Network, the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation and the Moscow Helsinki Group. The Federal Foreign Office has provided financial support.