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Gay European Tourism Association Calls for Suspension of Visa-Free Travel to EU for Russian Officials

The Gay European Tourism Association is calling on the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström to suspend negotiations on proposals that would give 15,000 Russian officials the right to travel throughout the European Union without visas because of Russia’s recently introduced anti-gay laws.

MalmstromVia press release from GETA:

In the letter Carlos Kytka, Executive Director of GETA, says that “in the 1930s Europe’s failure to speak and act against the state sponsored attacks on sectors of German people, including homosexuals, sent the wrong message to the Nazi Party and emboldened its actions with disastrous consequences for Europe.  The European Union has recently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and has a duty to act firmly to show its distaste for European countries that threaten the peace and nature of our continent through its repressive actions”.

GETA has also written to the 48 MEPs who earlier this year expressed their concerns about liberalising visa restrictions for Russian officials because of the country’s human rights record, drawing their attention to the subsequent worsening situation and asking them to maintain their opposition.  The European Parliament has the power of veto over all EU bilateral agreements and could scupper any deal with Russia.

GETA is also currently lobbying the International Olympic Committee and European sports ministers to ensure that gay people travelling to Sochi for the Winter Olympics are free to express their support for gay rights without fear of intimidation, violence and arrest.

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  1. This is exactly the right way to protest the suffering in Russia.

    Posted by: BC | Aug 22, 2013 11:58:15 AM

  2. “Love, whatever its nature, can never be depraved except in the eyes of a cynic.” –Mikhail Kuzmin, Wings

    Bravo to GETA and its director for taking a stand and demanding action. Russia has a long literary tradition of gay writers, and some like Mikail Kuzmin are unknown in the West & deserve recognition:

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 22, 2013 12:11:33 PM

  3. drip, drip, long as these types of decisions work against russia, they will eventually back down. and maybe there'll be a little relief for gay russians, too.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 22, 2013 1:09:03 PM

  4. It's so effective when people "call for" things.

    Posted by: BE | Aug 22, 2013 1:18:24 PM

  5. Hey I'm all for it. Why should Russians travel throughout Russia without Visas? I would suspect a great many of those Visas would be denied based on an individual's human rights record.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Aug 22, 2013 1:49:19 PM

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