The Russian authorities need to address a deteriorating situation of widespread and concerted abuse against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and activists. The authorities’ failure to act and some officials’ homophobic comments expose LGBT people to further harassment and violence and embolden the attackers, Human Rights Watch research found.
Next week, Russia will host the Winter Paralympics in Sochi. Though American and British leaders have announced they will not attend the opening of the Paralympics to protest Russia's authorization of military force in Ukraine, thousands of athletes and spectators from these and 43 other countries will arrive in Sochi to compete nonetheless.
In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. This list tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs.
The Kremlin clearly hopes to boost Russia’s prestige as the host of a glorious international event. The face of the once quaint Black Sea resort is forever changed by the colossal pre-Olympic construction. It’s no wonder that Sochi now stands as the most expensive Games in history and that in addition to the monetary costs, there were major human costs involved.
The International Olympic Committee should carry out a series of reforms to avoid the human rights abuses that tainted the Sochi Winter Games, 33 human rights groups said today in an joint letter to the IOC president, Thomas Bach.