Both Russia and Ukraine have extremely poor records on LGBTI rights, but the tense situation in Crimea has supported homophobia further.
All LGBTI organisations and facilities in Crimea have had to cease their activities, due to the Russian federal law banning ‘homosexual propaganda’ as well as repression and threats from occupation authorities and paramilitary groups.
The European Parliament has issued a stark warning about the rising levels of homophobia in Crimea. It has now adopted a resolution on the human rights situation in the country and the severe restrictions on the freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The resolution starts out by strongly condemning “the unprecedented levels of human rights abuses perpetrated against Crimean residents” (paragraph 2) following the Russian annexation.
Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, stated in a press release: “I am deeply concerned about the situation for LGBTI people in Crimea. With homophobic rhetoric coming from the highest levels, and violence going completely unpunished, it is no wonder that many see no other option than leaving the peninsula.
“As an occupying power, Russia has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the whole population, including LGBTI people. I call on the EU Member States, the European Commission and the Council of Europe to maintain pressure on Russian authorities.”
Fabio-Massimo Castaldo MEP, also Vice-President of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “The Parliament has emphasised the importance of ensuring the human rights of the whole population, including LGBTI people.”